Sebastian Metz, AHK: The Romanian market is one of strategic importance for Germany

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The Romanian market, and especially the energy market, is one of strategic importance for German companies, said Sebastian Metz, General Manager and Member of the Board of Directors, AHK German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the Energy Strategy Summit.

“The Romanian market is one of strategic importance for us, from the perspective of the volume of business and the diversity of activities that German companies have here. We are present here through large companies, such as E.ON, but also through other companies – PNE Wind and other wind companies, Porsche and Siemens and many other companies in the energy field. It is very important for AHK and the German government to respect the Green Agreement, the green transition of Europe and that is why we support the green transition here in Romania as well. 10 years ago, we financed the EcoNet Romania platform, very important for the energy segment but also in other fields, such as the sustainable development of cities, water treatment”, he said.

“There is a growing interest for investment here, but I think there is room for better. That is why we are working together with the Ministry of Economy and all stakeholders, to improve the legislative framework and allow the extension of all those present here. Our members in the energy sector are very attentive to new European financing, such as the Modernization Fund or the Just Transition Mechanism, to the evolution of the multi-annual development framework now under discussion, and the Green Deal will play a crucial role in these negotiations. We will support the green transition in Europe and Romania”, added Metz.

“We need a predictable legislative framework and a good consultation process, and, as far as I know, the dialogue between the private and public sectors is good, it is taking place, but I emphasize its importance.

On the investment side, we should support companies to invest in smart grids and solutions, using European funds. This would increase Romania’s ability to attract European funds, but it would also help the country reach its targets. Another topic we have been discussing for the last three years concerns bilateral energy purchase agreements (PPAs), and, together with the Coalition for the Development of Romania, we support the signing of long-term contracts outside the centralized market. In infrastructure development, our members have developed PCI-type projects in other countries, which could be examples of good practice for the local market. Finally, access to permits for the construction of new renewable projects and related infrastructure should be facilitated, in order to speed up the transition process”, he added.

“At the same time, energy development plans must be coordinated with industry development plans – we must not neglect industry, which generates 25% of GDP. During the Coronavirus crisis, it has proved very useful to have a strong local production, and we are thinking of relocating many production facilities back to Europe – we need to find a balance in this direction”.

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Bogdan Tudorache

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