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The Buzz in Romania: Interview with Alina Popescu of MPR Partners

The Buzz in Romania: Interview with Alina Popescu of MPR Partners

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Being the country with the highest growth rates in the EU, Romania is going strong despite the global pandemic conditions, according to MPR Partners Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner Alina Popescu.

“There is some friction within the ruling coalition, but this is nothing new,” Popescu says. “For the time being, business keeps going and we can only hope that the political atmosphere in the country will not be adversely impacting the business climate in a significant way,” she reports.

As for the legislative updates, Popescu names a few. “Tech is one of the booming stars for legislative efforts these days,” Popescu says. She points to a recently passed law that regulates authorization procedures for 5G manufacturers, as an example. “This is an important piece of legislation that has seen a lot of debate, not the least of which because of the efforts of both the EU and the US to shape the 5G sector,” Popescu reports. The EU has issued a toolkit concerning 5G technology and Romania has signed a memorandum with the US regarding the conditions 5G manufacturers have to meet in order to operate.

“Furthermore, there have been movements in cybersecurity – with Bucharest becoming the designated seat for the EU’s Cybersecurity Competence Center,” Popescu continues. “This confirms Romania’s position as one of the European ‘silicon valleys’.” Also, Popescu reports developments within the framework regulating telemedicine. “This has previously been an unregulated field and now the basic foundation has been laid, with only some secondary legislation needed to make it all fully functional.”

As for other business sectors, Popescu reports that renewables are going strong, with a “lot of investor attention – this is a field that will be quite active over the next two years.” She says there are a number of deals happening and projects being developed, especially large renewable energy parks.

Additionally, the real estate market is booming, Popescu says, despite a small downturn of the office sector. “The positive trend of growth that permeates the entire Romanian economy is no stranger to the real estate sector – some major listings have hit the market and people are abuzz,” she reports. Finally, Popescu says that, somewhat expectedly, the retail sector has been doing quite well, especially online retail.

Tackling the overall economic condition of the country, Popescu is wary. “I tend to be conservative with projections, but there is a lot of talk from experts that Romania is on a good path,” she says. “Still, in order for this to be true, political stability is paramount.” Popescu feels that the Parliament and the Government must remain in a position to ensure predictability of policy enforcement, in order to keep things afloat. “Secondly, the effects of the pandemic must be met head-on. With low vaccination rates in the country, we must be careful not to allow this to spill over into negative economic effects,” Popescu concludes.

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