Changing Perspectives and Showing That True Romania is a Vibrant Innovative Country

.

Oana Bizgan

About Oana Bizgan

Oana Bizgan is a strategy and commercial professional with more than 10 years of experience within a multinational environment. For the past year, she's been involved in new business generation for foreign investors in Romania. She has extensive expertise in strategy consulting, restructuring, commercial performance and general management. She has a MSc BA in Strategy and Organisation from the School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University in Sweden and was an exchange student at HEC Montreal and London School of Economics.

When I meet a foreigner for the first time, the moment I start a conversation about Romania, it seems as if we are discussing a topic where each of us has a completely different view. This proves that there is a significant gap between how people see Romania and what the actual reality is. That makes me determined to show people that Romania means culture, talent and technology. 

What I have come to understand, in the past few months of working for Invest Romania, is that if I want that gap to disappear I must get involved. I have always been a believer in leading by example and I feel that the current circumstances, as well as the team I work with in this government, are the best way to start a trend to change perceptions. 

That is why we started working on a story that tells the truth, on the very first day. A truth that is free from bias, misconception and prejudice and that shows that the many ‘all-nighters’ and weekends we have spent in the office translate into making our country better. 

Moreover, the idea behind this story is that it is applicable at all levels in some particular way, starting with the central government. Every ministry knows what its strengths are and where it can affect change; the same way every town hall and county council are aware of how competitive they really are. If you think about it, this story can be translated into a promotion platform that any administration unit in the country can use, to show the world what their people are good at and how they can add value. Let’s start with the big picture.

Romania is expected to have a five per cent economic growth this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). FDI has increased by 22.7 per cent year-on-year, in the first six months of 2016. This growth trend translates in more than 40,000 lives that have been changed by getting a new job. 

However, if you look closer, you will see that this type of growth cannot be achieved unless you have a strong foundation. Let me give you a few examples: the participation of women in science, in Romania, is above the EU average; over 100,000 people work in ITC, a strategic sector that is expanding horizontally in other high value-add industries such as aerospace, automotive or even agriculture; 97 per cent of Romanian students study English at colleges and a portion of them also study a second foreign language. 

These are some of the engines that are pushing Romania forward. We are slowly, but surely, shifting from a cheap labour force economy to a value-added, reliable and competitive economy that is based on the hard work of people who are creating products in the country and exporting them all over the world. 

The Dacia Duster is one of these Romanian best-sellers all over the EU, Asia and the Americas — it is strong, competitive and very reliable. This is what Romania is like now — strong, competitive and very reliable. That is how I see Romania!

I am aware that we still have a lot of work to do to change the perception of the country and to enhance our image. This type of change takes time, a robust strategy and a critical mass. I strongly believe that this government has the potential to make that change.

Why? Well, just look at the volunteers who have been helping us day and night since we joined InvestRomania. Their input has been instrumental in creating InvestRomania’s infrastructure — the website, our guidebook and our video, as well as industry presentations. Such was the assistance of the institutions that believed in us! 

Let me give you another example of Romanian creativity that is helping improve the country’s image. At the beginning of October, a hackathon weekend, with more than 100 participants, took place at the government, with the objective of creating new technology tools for the public administration. 

Once again, I am aware that a country’s image is an emotional subject. These actions make us proud of our country and of its people. Building this new image is a work in progress but we are constantly showing that Romania deserves an honest image; one that is not influenced by the perceptions of the past and one that takes into account the amazing progress people are building here. 

I am sure we are taking the right steps when I hear from foreigners that my team is made up of individuals with true integrity, and that Romania deserves more of them — that is how the government becomes an asset for the Romanian people. 

_______________

The views expressed in this opinion editorial are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.

RELATED ARTICLES

How Will Poland Approach the Brexit Negotiations?

Polish Tax Laws — Fighting a Winning Battle Against Tax Evaders

Poland: Is it Ready, and is it Time to Adopt the Euro?

The Netherlands’ Objection to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement could be Costly to Europe

Resignation in Ukraine: War, Revolution, Crisis — Some Things Never Change

Are There Differences Between How Tax Regulations in Poland and IAS Treat Intangible Assets?

The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

Romania Surviving the Waves of Recent Political Tsunamis in Europe

Poland’s Unicorn, Slovakia’s Flying Car and the Future of Europe

United or Divided? Europe in the Face of the Challenges of Tomorrow

A Bosnian Referendum Shows Russia’s Influence in the Balkans—As Well As Its Limits

Europe at Odds over OPAL and Nord Stream 2

Bulgaria Needs a Reform-Oriented Government to Take Full Advantage of its EU Membership

bulgaria emerging europe

Central and Eastern European Consumers Are Joining the Global Trends for Change

Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

The Competitive Edge in Central and Eastern Europe

SOFIA BULGARIA - MAY 5: View of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre in Sofia on May 5 2016. Sofia is the largest city and capital of Bulgaria.

Czech Republic Renaming Has Real Economic Costs

Brexit: Let’s Learn the Lesson and Hope a Better Europe Will Arise

A New Division Between Eastern And Western Europe?

The Capital Markets Union: a New Beginning in the European Financial Sector?

Examining How a Strong Swiss Franc Could Single-Handedly Topple Poland’s Economy

The GREAT London Food Scene

Bakery in London

We, the Post-Communist Generation, Have the Skills to Rid of the Past And Create Our Own Future

Macedonia’s Controversial Coalition Government

SKOPJE MACEDONIA emerging europe

Measuring Growth of Societies with GDP Alone Shows an Incomplete Picture

Breaking With Imitations of the Past

International Women’s Day — Let’s Take Action And Then Celebrate

LGBT in CEE — A New Acceptance Is Being Born From Migration

The Right to Water: Who Can Change Today’s Situation?

People Power Reminds the Government of the Rule of Law

Not All Quiet on the Eastern Front

The Sharing Economy Could Bring New Business Models to CEE

Hungary’s Nationalist Assault on Free Enquiry

victor orban ceu

The Long Tail of Global Expansion

Falling into Old Ways in 2017? Ukraine’s Struggle for Functioning Economic Institutions

Finalising the DCFTA is Expected to Bring Multiple Benefits to Ukraine

Let’s Stop Wasting Time Redefining our Place in Europe

CEE — Do We Need a Launch Pad For Our On-Site Tech Intelligence in the Silicon Valley

The EU’s Choice: Fundamental Reform Or Disintegration

The CEE Region Is Making Advances in Prioritising Waste-to-Energy Projects

Poland’s Confusing GDP Growth

The Morawiecki Plan Promises a Brighter Future for Poland

The Voice of European Business Must Be Heard Loud and Clear by Brexit Negotiators

Belarus 2020: Turning the Vicious Circle Into an Upward Spiral

Will a Two-speed European Union Side-line the Visegrad Four?

Ukraine’s Reputation for Cheap Labour May Not Ring True in the Long-term

Global Expansion in the Digital Age

After 25 Years of Restructuring, the Romanian Power Sector Is at a Crossroad

Where’s My Cheese? – The GREAT British Food Tour 2014

Cheese Shop

January Kicks Off an Exciting Year for Emerging Europe

Europe Needs To Be More Proactive In Embracing Armenia

Fiscal Policy Predictability in CEE — It’s Time for Change

Old Fashioned Skulduggery Overshadows the Elections in Moldova

Big Fish, Small Fish, Where to Fish? On the Eve of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

History as Destiny? Institutional Erosion in Ukraine and Poland

Will the New Five-day Visa-free Regime Encourage More Visitors to Belarus?

A Positive and Modern View of Entrepreneurship

European Volatility Makes Economic Development Slower for Ukraine

Prepare for a New Europe

Business Moving Forward with Cautious Optimism — Can Investors Win the Confidence Game?

The Global Outsourcing Industry — the Rise of the Phoenix

Could the West At Least Help Ukraine To Insure FDI Against Political Risks?

Outsourcing in Germany: Stop Talking at and Start Talking to

China: A Giant That Is Hard to Crack

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *