Despite a bit of political uncertainty, Lucian Danilescu, Partner at Danilescu Hulub & Partners, is excited over Romania's macro-economic indicators and its potential upcoming infrastructure projects.
"Because politics cannot be avoided, the ongoing matter that all are talking about concerns the fall congresses of the two main parties in the current governing coalition," Danilescu says. He reports that it seems likely "we'll see a change in terms of heads and general management teams of at least one, if not both parties, so we're all holding our breaths under this paradigm."
Noteworthy, according to him, is that the country enjoys having a Prime Minister with an American business school education and solid business experience, including with "one of the major financial institutions in the country and abroad – all of which make him a very pro-business leader." And the positive effects of this "natural tendency towards the business side of things" are becoming visible, with Danilescu reporting that "Romania is projected to register a 7.5% GDP growth rate this year – one of the highest, if not the highest in Europe – with a further increase of around 5% expected next year."
Also at the top of the agenda is the recently submitted Romanian plan for the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Having been "involved in the discussions shaping the plan," Danilescu explains that the reforms and public investment projects Romania plans to implement with RRF support will focus on infrastructure projects, which, given the niche focus of his firm, he was quite excited about. "There are a lot of target areas of the EU, such as advancing the green deal agenda or supporting businesses directly, that the Romanian plan focuses a bit less on," Danilescu explains, "but Romania opted to focus heavily on infrastructure. We're not 100% sure if the plan will be approved, but there were some exchanges between the Romanian Ministry of European Investments and Projects and the EU Commission and, as far as we are aware, it'll likely pass as is."
And this could not come at a better time, with a rather renewed interest in infrastructure projects in the country, according to Danilescu. As an example, he points to the river canal project between the Danube at Oltenita and Bucharest – a 100-kilometer waterway that would, ultimately, provide a direct water link between the capital, the Danube, and the Black Sea port of Constanta. "Much of the project has already been built by the Ceausescu regime, and we're finally having real conversations about finalizing it," Danilescu says. "The estimated threshold is around EUR 1 billion, and I already see interest from developers looking at the south of the capital city as a prime location for logistics real estate development. This would synergize with the canal project immensely, as well as with a new cargo airport – should the stars finally align between these two, I believe Bucharest is in a prime position to be one of the largest logistics hubs in this part of Europe."