Business owners see lack of economic recovery plan

It’s too optimistic, not credible, and nothing but a campaign stunt, leaders of Transylvanian business are saying about the government’s highly anticipated economic recovery plan.

“We are talking about a program that lacks credibility. In essence it is a populist program of a party instead of a real strategy for crisis management,” Áron Csaba Jakab, president of the Small Business Association of Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc (SZMVSZ) told Transindex. His opinion is that the recovery plan includes minimum elements that the government has promised to entrepreneurs for years but failed to deliver. “We were looking for a concrete plan to strengthen the most affected segments such as tourism, hospitality, and the services market, and how it plans to ease the dependency on imports, but we couldn’t find it,” Jakab said.

Miklós-Levente Bagoly, president of the Small and Medium-Sized Business Association of Kovászna/Covasna County, agrees with Jakab.

“The plan includes tons of investment intent, which is hard to take seriously. The government constantly promises motorways, but during the past 30 years the country has managed to build only 600–700 km of highway, although infrastructure development is an essential condition of a strong economy. Now they promise to build 3400 km of motorway in ten years,” he said.

Some measures have created a very controversial situation in the market, adds Tibor Bajkó, president of the Arbor Entrepreneurs Association. While it’s great that the government took the burden off the shoulders of business by paying employees sent on forced holiday because of the coronavirus pandemic, it would have been nice to think about the businesses who did everything within their power to keep their employees busy.

“It is necessary to look at how to bring back home the educated crowd working abroad in various industries, which I believe is currently increasing the GDP of other countries through decent work and a positive attitude. That can’t be done with a declaration. According to experts, there is a shortage of 1 million workers in Romania. Both employers and the government have a duty to find ways to make domestic wages more favorable,” Bajkó added.

The government is constantly analyzing something, and when it comes to helping the business sectors in need, the helping hand – in this case a decision – is missing. In other words, the government is only observing events and doesn’t get actively involved, according to Jakab.

That results in a grim future: unemployment will rise, demographic and public security data will deteriorate, and social spending will rise significantly. The President of the SZMVSZ also fears that this will lead to higher levels of circular debt, a stronger black and invisible economy, capital-intensive enterprises, and multis gaining more space. Also, local small and medium-sized enterprises will continue to weaken and lose ground, and, as a result, the addiction to imports will continue to grow.

Title image: pixabay.com

Author: István Fekete