Mihai Daraban, the youngest President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Romania’s history, previously served as the head of Constanta’s Chamber of Commerce and has a background in the shipping industry. He describes the Chamber’s current goals and projects.
European Times: What are the main goals of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry?
Mihai Daraban: As the largest Chamber of Commerce in Romania, we are committed to improving the business environment and to serving as productive partners for the Romanian government as well as the private sector.
European Times: What are some of the challenges the business sector faces?
Mihai Daraban: The two main challenges are the need for a more business-friendly tax system and high energy costs. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly supports diversifying Romania’s sources of energy, particularly gas, and I personally support shale gas.
European Times: What kinds of help can the Chamber of Commerce and Industry provide to investors?
Mihai Daraban: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry is Romania’s only business organisation present in every county in the country. Investors should make use of our services. We can help them choose a project and the right location for the project, help them develop the correct strategies, and serve as a liaison between investors and the government as well as local authorities. Our advice is free of charge, and we are not politically motivated.
European Times: Why should investors choose Romania?
Mihai Daraban: Romania is probably the safest country in the region, even in Europe. Our neighbours in the south face problems with organised crime, but Romania does not. Romania’s energy and agriculture sectors in particular are very promising, and each region in the country has its own advantages. Romania also has the most strategic location in South-East Europe and the largest Black Sea port. Now we are working to make the Danube navigable year-round. Using European Corridor 7 and the Danube canal, companies can reach Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria from Romania.
European Times: What is the Chamber doing to improve the business environment?
Mihai Daraban: We are very active in helping Romania absorb EU funds, especially for professional training to make sure Romania’s labour force fulfils the needs of today’s economy. We are also promoting ROMEXPO as a key partner in Europe for fairs and exhibitions. We welcome investors to come to Romania, the safest country in Europe for business.