Romania to Absorb Investments Worth €3.5 bln in ‘05

Romania is the main Southeast European country to have absorbed the highest investment volume in 2004, and in 2005 it will attract investments worth about 3.5 billion euros, according to a report on the evolution of the business climate and investments in the Southeast European countries made public by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ACT Media news agency reports.

Based on the report, Romania will be followed by Bulgaria with 1.8 billion euros, Croatia with 1 billion euros and Serbia-Montenegro with 800 million euros.

More than 80 percent of the investments made last year in the Southeast European area were drawn by Romania (4.098 billion euros), Bulgaria (2.114 billion euros) and Croatia (921 million euros).

The Southeast European countries implemented the reforms aimed at aligning them with the other countries with respect to taxation, and Romania joined the OECD investment instruments.

The biggest privatisations were made in the banking sector.Romania started the privatisation of the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) and the CEC Savings House, the report stressed.

The OECD officials, however, said the level of the investments in the region remains insufficient.

The countries should promote more greenfield projects for the small and medium-sized firms (SME), since the Southeast European countries have a strong competitor, China, the OECD said.

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