President: Romania to see economic growth this year

BUCHAREST, – Romania will see economic growth in 2009 despite the ongoing global financial crisis, the country’s President Traian Basescu said on Wednesday.

The president made the remarks while meeting with representatives of 12 banks, along with Central Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu and Finance Minister Gheorghe Pogea. 

“I continue to be optimistic, despite the many estimates according to which Romania will have negative growth. The viewpoint which I support and in which I am encouraged by the fact that the banks have the capacity to finance the economy, the Romanian banks can finance the economy,” he said, stressing “I maintain my estimate of economic growth of 1.5-2 percent.”

Basescu said that he maintains the belief, despite widespread pessimism of those who regard from outside. According to the president, it is good news that over the past ten days, the energy consumption has grown significantly, which means that some industrial segments have started their activity.

“Let’s hope we’ll manage to set up the favorable moment, so that the entire economy should resume the slight growth, after the months in which traditionally, the economic activity is low, January-February,” said the president.

At the end of the meeting with the representatives of the most important banks in the country, Basescu announced that he would boost the partnership between banks, the government, and the central bank.

On the same occasion, Central Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said that Romania will have in 2009 just a moderate economic growth.

According to Isarescu, capital flows will not turn negative in 2009 and the renewal rate of financing lines from parent banks to local subsidiaries is higher than 90 percent.

Isarescu mentioned that the central bank will do its utmost for the banking system to operate smoothly and that in 2009 banks will get involved in governmental investment projects, whilst the administrative capacity for the absorption of EU funds will improve.

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