U.S. – Romania Economic Forum: Innovation for Prosperity, 2nd edition

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Source: AmCham Romania
Bucharest, 6 September 2023 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) organized the second edition of the U.S.-Romania Economic Forum, dedicated to promoting bilateral economic cooperation. Building on the 2022 edition that marked the 25th anniversary of the U.S. – Romania Strategic Partnership, this year’s Forum agenda places innovation as a cornerstone for prosperity and regional cooperation.

The U.S. – Romania Economic Forum: Innovation for Prosperity was a side event of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) Business Forum taking place in Bucharest, on September 6 & 7. The event is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest as a strategic partner and the Aspen Institute Romania.

Representatives from the U.S. and Romanian central administration, executives in the AmCham Romania community, and business leaders of companies with significant presence in the Three Seas region participated in discussions about strengthening transatlantic economic relations through enhanced regional cooperation, especially through large-scale adoption of innovation.

“The current edition confirms that the U.S. – Romania Economic Forum AmCham launched last year is becoming what we aimed for and considered necessary – a solid dialogue platform for the bilateral economic agenda. The commitment made by both administrations to intensify economic relations is already reflected in the positive investment trends over the past year, and we are confident that concrete projects will follow to turn the potential into economic prosperity. Additionally, in the near future, Romania has at least two objectives – entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program and OECD accession, which, if achieved on time, will bring significant benefits to the economic agenda. This year, in the context of the Three Seas Initiative Summit, we are adding the regional dimension to the bilateral cooperation, for which we consider innovation to be a central pillar across industries. The private sector consistently invests in innovation, demonstrating its value to economies. Our joint call to decision-makers is that incentivizing and adopting innovation, through appropriate regulation and funding, represent the path to the prosperity for our economies and societies,” stated Cristian Sporiș AmCham Romania President.

The priority areas for regional cooperation under the 3SI platform – energy, digitalization, and infrastructure – were reflected in the agenda of the Forum organized by AmCham Romania, with the special participation on the U.S. side of Reta Jo Lewis, President of the U.S. EXIM Bank. The U.S. Department of State was represented by Geoffrey Pyatt, Deputy Secretary of State for Energy Resources, and the U.S. Department of Commerce by John Simmons, Regional Officer for Europe and Minister Counsellor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.

From the Romanian Government, messages on the status of Romania – U.S. economic relations, strategic sectors, and future plans were delivered by two ministers directly involved in the development of bilateral trade and investment relations, Radu Ștefan Oprea, Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Tourism, and Sebastian Burduja, Minister of Energy.

The business panel highlighted innovative projects implemented in Romania and in countries in the region, showcasing examples of best practices and successful public-private partnerships, particularly in the fields of energy and technology. These initiatives not only provide opportunities for cooperation among countries affiliated with the Three Seas Initiative but also concretely contribute to supporting connectivity, prosperity, economic growth, and the overall investment profile of Central and Eastern Europe. Companies represented on the panel were NuScale Power, Microsoft, Enery Power Holding, IBM, and Amazon.

General James L. Jones, former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, currently a senior leader with the Atlantic Council conveyed valuable perspectives on the geostrategic context and the complex challenges that the business environment must consider.

“The Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is a growth engine for countries in the region and is even more relevant for Romania, focusing on digital infrastructure and energy, sectors with massive potential to strengthen our country’s regional profile. Additionally, there is room for improvement in the transport infrastructure, where significant gaps still exist. AmCham Romania, together with AmCham organizations in 3SI countries, firmly supports the Three Seas Initiative, and our call is for the collaborative spirit underlying this platform to inspire an honest and constructive partnership between the public sector and the private sector. Aligning decision-makers, administrations, and the private sector around common objectives is necessary to accelerate the adoption of innovation as a vector for prosperity and sustainable economic development. Therefore, AmCham will continue to facilitate this dialogue and share best practices,” concluded Elisabeta Moraru, Vice President of AmCham Romania.

On the occasion of the U.S.  – Romania Economic Forum, AmCham reiterated its support for enhancing the economic component of the strategic partnership and emphasized the need to further consolidate Romania’s economic profile to become a trusted partner for investors from the U.S., the EU, and 3SI countries.

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