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The economy of the European Union (EU) is expected to advance 4.2% this year, and against this backdrop, Romania's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) returned its levels of before the COVID-19 pandemic, together with Estonia, Ireland and Lithuania, at the end of the first quarter of 2021, said on Tuesday presidential adviser Cosmin Marinescu at the National Recovery Forum.

"Forecasts show that the world economy will experience the strongest post-crisis recovery this year, with a 5.6% increase in global Gross Domestic Product. At the European Union level, an increase of 4.2% is expected as the Recovery and Resilience Facility will be started moving forward. Estimates show that most European Union economies will return to their pre-pandemic GDPs by the end of the year, with 5.1% growth forecasts from the European Commission And 6% from the International Monetary Fund, which is fully confirmed by current developments. Romania is among the EU member states with the fastest economic recovery. At the end of Q1 2021, Romania returned to its GDP of before the pandemic along with Estonia, Ireland and Lithuania, and 20 member states will return to pre-crisis GDP by the end of the fourth quarter, indicating an even faster recovery, faster than expected," Marinescu said.

He added that consumption recovery is an explicable phenomenon after a time in which people postponed a series of investments and acquisitions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"In fact, the recovery in consumption can be explained by the fact that people have postponed their purchases, travel, holidays, as we see during this period. However, the sped-up negative contribution of net exports that could surpass the figures of recent years remains problematic. Therefore, we need a sustainable growth model based on investment and external competitiveness," said Marinescu.

Sustainable Romania and EM360 Group organised on Tuesday the National Recovery Forum, an online event that aims to bring into debate Romania's opportunity under the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (RRF) is the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU to help the EU emerge stronger and more resilient from the current crisis. It will make 672.5 billion euros in loans and grants available to support reforms and investments undertaken by member states. The aim is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

The member states' National Recovery and Resilience Plans have to provide reforms and investment in areas such as: transport, environment, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, green transition, tourism, agriculture, education, health, business, research, innovation, digitalisation.

Romania submitted national plan to the European Commission on May 31, 2021. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Badea, editor: Oana Tilica; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Cristina Zaharia)

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