Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. It is a pleasure for me and the institution I represent to host the joint press conference of the IFIs and to welcome you here.
Before I talk about the program of this mission, let me tell you that I was in Washington DC for the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, in April. On this occasion, the Managing Director of the Bank met with a delegation of Romania led by the Finance Minister. Both the Bank and Government noted Romania’s good progress with the reform agenda: growth has been revived (2.5% in 2011 and an estimated 1.5% in 2012, among the highest in the EU; inflation at around 3%, a historical low; a fast declining budget deficit – less that 3% of GDP in 2012, again one of the lowest in the EU). These figures are particularly good, giving the risks and uncertainties coming from other parts of the EU.
It is also encouraging to see that the new Governmetn of Romania has sent out a strong message of stability and continuity of the reforms, and that it is determined to move fast with the implementation of the agreement with the IFIs. This is very important in the global economic context, and I am convinced that it will be appreciated by the markets and reflected in Romania’s economic performance.
The focus of the reform process in Romania should be on the medium and long term.
The joint teams have completed discussions on the upcoming Development Policy Loan with a Deferred Drawdown Option (DPL DDO). This loan is the main instrument through which the Bank supports the reform agenda, as part of the multilateral package together with the IMF and the European Commission.
The upcoming loan will support implementation of key reforms in public finance, and also energy, and health.
This is a 3-year reform agenda which should boost economic growth and consolidate macroeconomic stability by addressing the root-causes of the imbalanced surfacing before the economic crisis.
It is encouraging to notice that the governance program of the new cabinet outlines a broader agenda, including increasing the absorption of EU funds, the reform of the public administration, agriculture and rural development, transports, education, labor etc.
The Bank is looking forward to continue its work together with Romania to provide its expertise for sustainable and inclusive growth, and for EU convergence.