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Investment incentives in Romania and rights of foreign investors

31. 10. 2016  | 

To help promote investments in Romania, the state has implemented a series of measures targeting investors who might be interested in opening a business there. As a result, investors can benefit from various types of facilities such as non-refundable amounts and interest allowances in contracting loans, which could play a crucial role in setting up a firm.

The legal framework which regulates Romanian state support is Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) No. 85/2008 concerning stimulation of investments. The main purpose of the law is to ensure the sustainable development of Romania through the promotion of investments. The law establishes, among other things, the rules under which investors, residents and non-residents can benefit from these facilities. The specific conditions of state support depend on several criteria such as the sector of activity in which the investment is made, the level of potential improvement of an undeveloped sector, and the level of stimulation of the research and development (R&D) sector.

In order for these incentives to be granted the investments and the investors have to fulfil certain conditions expressly mentioned by the law.

First, the incentives are conferred to those investments made through the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets. Other investments considered eligible by the law are those which lead to initiating or stimulating research-development projects, increasing job opportunities, the development of renewable energy sources and the protection and rehabilitation of the environment. Therefore, the main areas considered for receiving incentives are agro-processing industries, production and supply of electricity and thermal energy, production of equipment for exploiting renewable resources, IT and communication services, employment services, research, development and innovation activities.

The measures are financed by the Romanian government and are awarded by the Ministry of Public Finance to those applicants who meet the conditions requested by the state aid legislation. In 2014 two new state aid schemes were created for the 2014-2020 period, one related to investments in assets and the other for creating new jobs and they regulate the purpose, the objective, forms of the state aid and all other relevant aspects of the available facilities. The state aid schemes are published on the Ministry of Public Finance official website and can be found in English at the following web addresses: http://discutii.mfinante.ro/static/10/Mfp/buget/sitebuget/ajutordestat/Hg332actualizat_en.pdf and http://discutii.mfinante.ro/static/10/Mfp/buget/sitebuget/ajutordestat/HG807_engleza.pdf.

Second, the law also stipulates a series of conditions which investors need to fulfil. For example, they must not have debts to the State budget, must not have loans contracted with a state guarantee, must not have writs of execution, must not be in foreclosure or insolvency and they must prove credibility and financial stability.

For a legal person to be eligible to benefit from this public support, it has to meet the conditions required by the law cumulatively, both for the investor and the investment.

Foreign investors also enjoy a series of specific rights such as favourable national treatment. Moreover, investments are allowed in all sectors of the economy, and there is the possibility to freely manage the company with full ownership rights. Full repatriation of capital and profits, full protection against expropriation and nationalization, and access to incentives and funds provided by EU and Romanian legislation are also available.

Author: Anca Calina

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