Virgil Popescu promises that Romania will not return to the old pre-crisis economy

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Romania is preparing to get out of quarantine but officials say the economy will not be the same, their intention being to increase local production to ensure security of food, natural gas and medical equipment, in order to be prepared in case in which new crises will appear in the future, Bloomberg reports.

“It is clear that we need to rethink industrial production. We will focus on sectors that showed encouraging signs even before the crisis: energy, petrochemistry and defense,” Economy Minister Virgil Popescu said in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced governments and companies around the world to rethink their immediate access to essential products such as food and drugs. The urgent need for large stocks and stronger supply chains has given rise to debates among economists and policymakers about the disadvantages of globalization and whether production should be placed closer to home.

So far, Romania has announced measures worth 15 billion lei for SMEs. Companies such as Renault resumed operations before the restrictions were phased out in mid-May. “About a third of the economy was affected when the car and hospitality industries stopped working. Now some of these companies have resumed work and the economic contraction has diminished,” Virgil Popescu said, according to Agerpres.

Even if the collapse of the oil price could be good news for consumers, it could affect the sales of the largest Romanian company, OMV Petrom.

The Minister of Economy does not expect OMV Petrom to stop the Neptun Deep gas project in the Black Sea and adds that the state company Romgaz SA is still interested in taking a stake in this project, given that Exxon Mobil wants to sell its package of 50%. “We cannot say that if this project does start this year or next year, it will not be completed at all. This project will be completed,” said Virgil Popescu.

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