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WB: Romania, second in terms of most efficient reforms
The latest World Bank report Doing Business 2007: How to Reform ranks the Romanian economy second for the "number and impact of reforms" between 2005 and 2006. Georgia takes the first place. Romania also ranks 49th, up from 71st in the previous report, as far as the ease of doing business. The report compares 175 economies and the ease of doing business is calculated on the basis on regulations in the following areas: starting a business, dealing with licenses, employing workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and closing a business. More info in this article and on the World Bank Web site. If you wish to glance at the whole report, you may have a look at it here. By Gabriela Folcut, Nine O'Clock, September 7, 2006. Added: September 11, 2006.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania and Bucharest
Post and find your business opportunity online, order the investment guide to Romania, browse the CCIRB's list of partners and cooperation agreements, and stay updated on policies and current events.

World Bank Office Romania
With Romania weekly updates, overview of the governmental Action Plan for 2001-2004, economic studies on Romania and conference papers, social and economic indicators, and more.

AfaceriOnline.com -- The Romanian Business Directory
Read business news and look for companies involved with one of the following: Romanian agriculture, primary raw materials, industrial machines and equipment, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, precision industry and tools, wood, furniture and paper, food and beverages, metallurgy and metalworking, transport equipment and services, building material and contractors, IT, electrical and electronic items, textile and yarns, fashion, clothes and shoes, financial services, miscellaneous products and services.


BOOKS
The Diplomat Bucharest -- "The magazine for informed internationals"
Romania will receive almost 20 billion euros between 2007 and 2013 in EU structural funds. UPC Romania will spend 40 million euros in 2007 with a view to upscaling its communications network. First section of Highway Transilvania, between Turda and Gilau, might be open by the end of 2008. More news and features on the Web site of The Diplomat Bucharest. Added: August 3, 2007.

The Romanian Digest
Online magazine from Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C. in association with Rubin Meyer Doru & Trandafir. Monthly features have covered topics such as After EU Accession: Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Romania, Intellectual Property Protections in Romania, Romanian Land Use 101, The Hubbub on Judicial Reform, Romania's Real Estate Boom. Added: August 3, 2007.

EU to Give Romania $27B in Aid
AP, Forbes.com, July 12, 2007. Added: July 20, 2007.

Underground Line from Piaţa Victoriei to Otopeni Airport
Over the next seven years an underground line will be built linking Piaţa Victoriei 3 Station to International Airport Henri Coandă in Bucharest-Otopeni. The funds will be provided by the Bucharest Municipality. Nine O'Clock, October 15, 2007. Added: October 25, 2007.

Millions of hectares of crops destroyed in prolonged drought in Romania
A third of Romania's arable land has been decimated by the drought, leaving many peasants with no recourse but to appeal to the government for help. AP, International Herald Tribune, July 21, 2007. Added: July 23, 2007.

Romania to raise pensions by 43 percent
President Traian Basescu approved an increase in pensions by 43 percent in 2008. The measure will raise the average pension from 396 lei (180 dollars, 130 euros) to 568 lei (260 dollars, 190 euros). The government is not planning any hikes in taxes to support the rise in pensions. AP, The International Herald Tribune, July 18, 2007. Added: July 20, 2007.

Doing Legal Research in Romania
Lawyer Dana Neacsu is now reference librarian at Columbia Law School, and so expect a long Web page that has it all: comprehensive structure, must-have references to most relevant Web links, as well as recent legal updates (last posts are dated December 3, 2001) with accompanying Web recources, if any. Dana Neacsu has put together a must-read introduction and host of links on the Romanian Legal System, Romanian Primary and Secondary Legal Resources, Romanian Legal Organizations (including Law Schools and their curriculum, as well as Web links to international law firms with offices in Bucharest), Specific Topics in Romanian Law, as well as a small section on Romania's Accession to the EU. This is definitely the foremost place online for a quick yet comprehensive overview of Romanian Law, and the best Web portal for Romanian legal resources. Added: February 3, 2002.

American Business Community
With Investor Resources, list of over 1700 companies, US News File, Business Community, Currency Analyzer, and more. A Web site well attended to.

British Business Comunity in Romania
With daily and weekly business news, business profiles and practice, Romania high-tech, commercial law, investment update, companies list, and more.

Canadian Business Association
Listing companies, links, daily and weekly business news, important messages from the Association, and extending several invitations.

Romania hotbed of IT good and evil
Many Romanian computer specialists emigrated to countries where they can command higher salaries. According to the article, the average figures are $600 a month in Romania, $1,050 in Poland and $950 in the Czech Republic. Still, despite an extensive brain drain, IT companies in Romania have a turnover of 1 billion euros. Also present in Romania are many hackers responsible for online auction fraud and for breaking into various computer networks. Reuters, July 29, 2007. Added: July 31, 2007.

Tapping Romania's Treasure Trove
"U.S. firms love those $500-a-month software developers." His Excelency James Rosapepe, former ambassador to Romania, says that "Romania is on the cusp of being the new India." On the other hand, university professor fear that with the state's meager salaries and well trained graduates leaving, the Romanian academy won't fare all that well in the future. The article also discussies several mysteries of Romania's economy, where cars and cell phones abound, concert tickets cost $40 a seat, and yet Romanians earn an average of $100 a month. Eight pages for you to begin to understand Romania's contrasts. By Paul Gibson, Electronic Business, August 2000.

AuctionWatch.com Launches First International Office in Romania
Romania is rated among the top 4 international sources for computer programmers, alongside India, Israel and Ireland. And AuctionWatch is saying that this doesn't have to mean "brain drain" -- young talented Romanian computer programmers stay and work in Romania for a change.

Average net salary for bank employees tops 1,100 euros
The month of May saw the average net salary in the banking industry rise above 1,100 euros. The same month, the average net salary in Romania was 309 euros. Ziarul Financiar, July 5, 2007. Added: August 18, 2007.

Romania: Government Seeks To Tempt Western Tourists
In 2001 Romania attracted about 4 million foreign tourists, most of which spent their vacations on the Black Sea coast. You might be surprised to find out what cutting back on crime means in Romania's resorts. According to this article, Romania's tourism minister apparently offered as an example the theft of mobile phones on a particular beach decreasing from 8000 in 200 to eight in 2001. All thanks to a new police unit inspired from the popular series Baywatch. We are also about to see a new Black Sea resort, the Europa. Where exactly, we are not told yet. By Eugen Tomiuc, for Radio Free Europe, February 12, 2002. Added: February 17, 2002.

Tories urge Blair aide's sacking -- BBC News, February 14, 2002
The sale of Romanian Sidex steelworks to LNM Holdings, agreed on in July 2001 and completed in November the same year for 300 million, seems to have been encouraged by a letter from British Prime Minister Tony Blair to his Romanian counterpart Adrian Nastase a month after the Labour Party received a 125,000 donation from the tycoon behind LNM, Lakshmi Mittal. Consequently, in a time of heated political debate in Britain, the privatisation of the largest still state-owned Romanian state company has become the seed of scandal during the Prime Minister's Question Time in the House of Commons. Conservatives are accusing Mr. Blair of intervening in support of Mr. Mittal for reasons other than the stated one of supporting the interests of a British company. Mr. Mittal's company, while having a British headquarters, is based in the Dutch Antilles and cannot be counted, therefore, as a British company. Moreover, less than 1 percent of LNM employees work in the UK. Some previous articles with more details on this dispute are:
How Labour donation swung deal for tycoon (Filed: 10/02/2002)
Blair pushed through deal for Indian billionaire who gave Labour 125,000 (Filed: 10/02/2002), both from news.telegraph.co.uk, and, from BBC News, a November 7, 2001 article on the sale of Sidex: Romania clinches steel sale. Added: February 14, 2002.

More on Sidex from Kate Connolly, The Guardian correspondent in Galati, Romania. She shares her impressions of Sidex plant and Sidex affair. Added: February 16, 2002.

Government "more sleazy" than Tories. The scandal over Prime Minister Blair's supporting a former Labour Party donor has affected the Labour Party image in the eyes of voters. An opinion poll conducted on 3,113 adults suggestes that the balance of cleaner reputation has shifted in favor of the Tories. Added: February 17, 2002.

More on the British involvement in the Sidex affair. Lord Macdonald: On the Record
You probably weren't used to the thought, but here it is: "Romania is a major competitor." John Humphry's interview with British Cabinet Office Minister Lord Macdonald on the BBC's On the Record. BBC News, February 18, 2002. Added: February 18, 2002.

Romania: Government Criticizes Privatization Deal In Court
Resita Steelworks, one of the largest foreign investments in Romania, offers a trouble ridden picture of privatization. The 3,800 workers' wages have been delayed for months and they have asked the government to cancel the privatization deal. With workers on hunger strikes and production stopped for various lacks in supplies, the social democratic government of Adrian Nastase decided to step in and sue Pennsylvania based Noble Ventures. By Eugen Tomiuc, Radio Free Europe, July 5, 2001.

Martinet with a Mission. Solectron's Chan Wah Kong
"Asian-style capitalism and hard work" in Romania's Timisoara. With over 2,000 employees in 2000, Solectron's plant in Timisoara is its largest investment in Europe in the past two years. Workers speak English and don't smoke. General manager Chan Wah Kong is pleasantly surprised at the commitment of the workers and the quality of their work. By Paul Gibson, Electronic Business, August 2000. Four pages.

Romania's Flamingo International Opens Branch in the Netherlands -- on EuropeMedia.net
Flamingo Computers, one of the most important computer company in the country, opened its first European Union office, to complement its other branches throughout Romania and in Budapest, Zagreb, and Skopje. By Mihai Patrascu, July 11, 2001.

Italian mobile operator to invest E826.3m to buy various UMTS licences
Tu Mobile deems Romanian market in the industry profitable. The investment involves several countries, as far as China. By Vlad Popovici, for Europemedia.net, September 24, 2001. Added: November 1, 2001.

Romania Becomes an ETC Member
We find out that in 1999 over 70,000 US citizens have visited Romania. With Romania part of the European Travel Commission now, there's more to expect in terms of individual traffic and organized tours. Brief article by Dinah A. Spritzer, Travel Weekly, August 2000.

Towards a South Eastern Europe Free Trade Area
June 27-28, 2001. Seven South Eastern European countries, Romania among them, have committed themselves to signing bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) by the end of 2002. Published on ICTSD.org, July 3, 2001.

Toxic Waste Firm Set for Dual Listing
The Australian company Virotec International will implement its toxic waste removal know-how in Romania, as part of a pilot program. By Mark Court, The Times, July 11, 2001.

Romanian Ecolinks Alliance Start-up Meeting a Success -- on EarthVision
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Environmental Export Council organized a one-day event in Bucharest on June 27, 2001, so that American and Romanian companies could share their knowledge and concerns on the issues of environmental technologies and challenges.

Romania Factbook 2000 -- Economic Statistics for Romania
Romania at a glance, with an emphasis on geography, natural and economic resources, politics and communications. It offers essential data and over 800 pages of statistics about today's Romania not only for investors but for all those wondering about what Romania offers today in terms of resources and partnerships.




DRACULA PARK PROJECT

Prince opposes Dracula park -- BBC News, May 6, 2002
While in Romania on a private visit, Prince Charles has made statements objecting to building Dracula Park in Sighisoara. Added: May 7, 2002.

Investors Bite for Dracula Amusement Park
Future Dracula Park has sold $2.9 million worth of stock out of the November 2001 public offer of $5 million, which means the minimum of 60 percent required by law has been met. Now the project is ready to proceed. The costs involved are estimated at some $34 million. FOXNews.com, AP, April 1, 2002. Added: April 1, 2002.

Fangs Are Out Over Tourism Minister's Dracula Park Plan
The idea of bringing Dracula Park in the vicinity of Sighisoara, the birthplace of Count Vlad The Impaler, is not without its critics. While the Romanian tourism minister is betting on the potential of vampire folklore to bring funds to Romania, critics bring to the table the future of the small Transylvanian town of Sighisoara, declared UN World Heritage Site for its unspoiled medieval look, with city walls, towers, vaults, and cobbled streets. Others, however, take hope at the prospect of new jobs in and around Sighisoara. On the ecological front, there's concern regarding an area of 500-year-old oak trees on a plateau outside of Sighisoara, where the envisioned Dracula Park, complete with a museum of Vampirology and memoriabilia, is supposed to take shape. By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service, March 28, 2002. Added: March 30, 2002.





Romania: Hollywood's new set
Of the major films of late shot in Romania, Cold Mountain stands out. Starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Renee Zellweger, the production cost more than 80 million US dollars, yet it would have cost over 100 million had it been shot in the US. Romania has two major film studios with a business of 50 million US dollars per year. Besides Cold Mountain, it has attracted productions such as Modigliani, starring Andy Garcia, as well as numerous documentaries. By Paul Ciocoiu, Southeast Europen Times, August 2, 2007. Added: August 7, 2007.


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