Basescu: The private sector is competitive; the big problem is with the state sector

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Increasing competitiveness should become the first objective of the government at home; and, while the private sector is competitive, the big problem is with the state sector, President Traian Basescu stated on Thursday evening, January 23.

'Competitiveness should be the number one objective of all the programmes that we have with the international financial institutions. Increasing competitiveness should be the first objective of the government to achieve at home. And, whereas we have no complains to make with respect to the foreign investors, because it is obvious that the private sector is already competitive [...] the big problem remains the state sector. Regardless if we talk about the big railway companies, energy producers, gas producers and suppliers, we should talk about: restructuring, increasing efficiency, making investments in modernization,' said Basescu, at the New Year's reception organised by the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the Parliament Palace.

He pointed out that Romania has a problem when it comes to managing state-owned companies and workforce skills qualification.

'I am aware of the fact that we cannot be fully competitive and meet the recommendations to grow competitiveness, until the state sector is diminished through partial or majority privatisations and until we will have a well-qualified workforce,' the head of the state added.

According to President Basescu, Romania's major objective is to continue with the European integration process, while specifying that our country cannot remain economically, socially and politically outside a 'powerful process of integration in the European structures.'

'These objectives are accompanied by a partnership with the IMF, EC and WB and the programmes that were and will be agreed in the future by the government with this troika. And the single chance for Romania to reach in due time to a certain level of economic and social performance, to really become an European country, is to integrate,' Basescu also said.

He stated that Romania has chances to meet the five criteria from Maastricht and qualify for the entry into the Eurozone, but first it should be seen if the Romanian economy is competitive enough for this process.

'Without a competitive economy, the chances to survive and continue with the upward trend are zero or very small,' Basescu concluded. AGERPRES

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