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Romania's economy has grown the fastest after 2000, but we have a tendency to press hard on the accelerator, not to be cautious and there is a slippage that means divergence, Mugur Isarescu, the governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) told a Monday's specialist conference.

"We are now, at the end of the year, in the ninth year of economic growth. It is a performance and this is definitely in conflict with the media battle. We have troubled waters and the electoral competition ... You will say, well, the United States is in 11th year of economic growth, but we live in Europe. Even after nine years of uninterrupted growth, the question that arises is this: is the Romanian economy more competitive now, are we on the right track? And here begin the nuances and sometimes the differences... What I think we must do is channel all our efforts on sustainable growth based on increased competitiveness. Here, of course, we have many things to do. Firstly, we should see what a sustainable economic growth is. The sustainable term has to get a true content. We all fight for convergence, to get closer to the Eurozone, to Western Europe. When we rush towards convergence, however, we must not forget the divergence. That would be the essence of sustainable growth. It is true that we developed the fastest after 2000, but we have a tendency to press the accelerator hard, not to be cautious, and slippage means divergence. As far as real convergence is concerned, we have taken the fastest steps since 2000. I see that we do not like to see this reality. We like the clean, colorful things," said Isarescu.

In the view of the BNR Governor, competition and competitiveness are two concepts that must be complementary elements, as they can have beneficial effects for the economy and society.

"Competition and competitiveness, if they are at a high level, can only have a beneficial effect for the economy and society. These two concepts are indisputably linked. Increased competition leads to increased competitiveness and both are the expression of the normal functioning of a company in a market economy. A link between competition and competitiveness, together with other elements of the market economy, other components, institutions, push things for the better. The way the society, the economy and, above all, the element of competition and competitiveness is organized, is essential. This synergy depends not only on companies, big or small companies in the Romanian economy, to join this sometimes tough fight of competition, for a higher competitiveness, it depends on many other things, especially on solid institutions that can act independently, and among them the Competition Council plays an extremely important role, as does the Chamber of Commerce," said Mugur Isarescu.

He added that many of the good economic results recorded by Romania were catalyzed, after 2000, by the membership to the European Union, and although joining the Eurozone is a target, "it is not necessary to rush".

"The question, which is not asked directly, but to which I think this conference will answer, is how far or how close are we, after 30 years, to this synergy of the good? Is it true that Romania's economy has changed enormously in recent years, especially after the crisis. Reforms and institutional changes have been made, but steps backwards have been taken as well (...)," the BNR official pointed out.

The Competition Council organizes, on Monday, at the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania (CCIR), the conference on "Competitive environment and competitiveness in key-sectors of the Romanian economy". AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Badea, editor: Mariana Nica; EN - author: Bogdan Gabaroi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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