The latest results of the FIC Business Sentiment Index (BSI) bring significant changes compared with the last iteration from March 2020, capturing the impact on Romania’s business environment due to the coronavirus crisis. According to the BSI from September 2020, there is a significant perception regarding the COVID impact on business: 68.2% of the respondents estimate a moderate decrease and 13.6% a rather significant decrease.
Moreover, more than a third of our respondents (38,7%) believe the Romanian business environment has worsened recently and half of responses mark the Romanian market attractiveness low compared to peer locations (e.g. CEE). The investment plans of foreign companies were considerably affected and deteriorated by the current crisis, a fact also noticed in the change of plans of our members regarding capital investments (38.6% respondents estimated a decrease of their capital investments for the next 12 months) or workforce plans (40.9% respondents estimated a decrease in their plans for employment for the next 12 months).
Even though the general perception of FIC members is that businesses have suffered and there is evidence of how the real economy has been affected in the past 9 months, the FIC Board of Directors highlights the opportunities available in this context. In this regard, by focusing on the main areas of the economy, FIC drafted a paper with specific solutions and recommendations which the country can focus on in the next period for restarting the economic growth.
Therefore, in the last period, FIC worked on elaborating a document with policy recommendations that could provide solutions to the negative effects of the pandemic, entitled “The challenge to restart economic growth.” The document highlights the necessity of adding more transparency and predictability to the legislative process, the core value/cornerstone of policymaking. Every stakeholder affected by the crisis should be consulted in order to overcome this crisis together and find solutions through dialogue.