maandag 24 maart 2008

Seminar Outsourcing ICT in Romania and subventions for ICT in Romania

Outsourcing ICT and subventions for ICT in Romania The Belgian and European ICT industry is considered as one of the fastest growing industries globally. And in Europe, Eastern European ICT industry has emerged as the fastest growing region because of multiple reasons including better manpower services at relatively low cost and huge potential for the foreign investors to invest in the ICT sector.

Today Romania has become an attractive destination. Romania combines a skilled and affordable workforce in the ICT –sector and 30 billion Euros of non-refundable EU fundings in the period 2007-2013. The ICT sector is also a national priority in Romania. The Nokia plant in the province of Cluj is the leading example (3500 work places after finalization of the project).

The following subjects will be on the agenda:
- Outsourcing of ICT activities in Romania; - Capabilities of ING bank in Romania;
- Structural instruments and Structural Funds for the ICT sector in Romania;
- Identification and formulation of projects;

Program Thursday 19 June at ING Brussels, Avenue Marnix 24, 1000 Brussel:

17u30 : Registration of the participants
17u45 : Welcome and impulse statement, Mr. Mugur Popovici, Commercial & Economic Counselor, Embassy of Romania in Brussels
17u50 : Outsourcing of ICT in Romania – Luc Vangansbeke, Pentamid Group 18u15 : Capabilities of ING in Romania – Nico Himpe, ING bank, Manager European Business Desk 18u35 : Subventions in Romania for the ICT sector - Dipl. ir.Freddy Jacobs, CIBR, Belgian Romanian Real Estate Chamber
19u : Discussion - the participants have the possibility to ask questions to the speakers. 19u15 : Cocktail offered by ING bank
21u : End

Make your reservations direct at

Or take the subscription form in attachment.

The seminar is "free of charge and taxes" for ICT companies (gratis).
All other companies pay 100 Euro ex VAT.

The Property market in Romania will rise in the next years

The Property Market in Romania will be profitable for years to come !

With price appreciation estimated at 20%-30% per year for the next 5 years, Romania is the HotSpot in European property market.

Recently integrated in EU, Romania Property market offers some fantastic opportunities for well informed investors.

Last year, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, property prices in Romania (predominantly Bucharest) grew by 15 per cent. Some developments values rose by 20 to 35 per cent in 2006, primarily because of a dearth of good accommodation.In the first semester of 2007 alone property prices gained 15%-20%.

This trend is sustained by political stability, strong economic growth together with the country’s accession to the EU in January 2007.

Local demand offers secure exit for investors
More and more romanians have finance to buy the much needed house.There is a great need for houses in Romania property market, with over 1,000,000 units in short on the market. After the fall of communism regime few people were able to invest in properties, but recent economic growth has change that.

Emmerging middle class
Young professionals, independent workers, doctors, lawyers, middle management in multinational companies, small and medium business owners, the new dynamic middle class is stile conscious and fashion driven. They have the finance to buy new, modern properties that are in line with their recently achieved social and economical position. This is the most interesting segment in Romania real estate market, with many investors ready to fulfill the increasing demand.

Mortgage Factor
Mortgage was unknown in Romania until 2003. This is the same year that apartment prices have doubled in months. In addition, interest rates are falling rapidly, from 40% in 2003 to 8-10% in 2007. Mortgage market is still underdeveloped in Romania compared to other European countries.

Romanians are working in EU countries
Few million people are working in Spain, Italy, England and other European countries. They are sending around 7 Billion EURO per year to their families. Most part of the money is invested in real estate properties increasing demand on the property market.

Real estate in Romania offers a vast range of property types that allow every investor to find the right choice

From old villas in fantastic location to new developments in popular neighbourhoods Romanian property landscape offers different options for various investments strategies.

You can buy to restore an old property in one of the best location in Bucharest or other big and medium cities. You can invest in a new luxurious apartment in north of the capital (the master choice of residential location for local elite and expats) or you can invest in one of the numerous Off Plan developments targeting the middle class buyers.

For a better understanding of the Romania real estate market you have to look at the communist build apartment market. This is the most common type of property in Romania, with apartments privately own since the 90’s. Communist apartments are still in high demand because of the lack of alternative.

Romania is a big country with many developed cities.

With over 21 millon people population, Romania is divided in few big, well develop regions with very active property market.

Probably you’ve heard of Bucharest, capital of Romania, but have you ever heard of Brasov? Or Cluj?

Well, those are some of the most developed cities in Romania, with a population that exceeds 300,000 inhabitants and with strong local economy.

In Cluj alone there are over 3,000 company own by foreign investors and Brasov is a tourist destination with fantastic mountain landscape, only 160 km from Bucharest.

Together with Bulgaria Romania has a cost line at the Black See that is a highly demanded tourist destination in the summer.

Iasi, a beautiful city in the east side of the country is going to be a sort of Silicon Valley, with many IT companies already investing or planning to open offices to benefit from highly qualified working force.

For a well informed property investors there are plenty opportunities, with houses to be restored, new apartments and properties suitable for renting, and off plan developments on the market.

Avoid common mistakesProperty investment is a skill like any other.

You can learn it the hard way, through making your own mistakes ... or you can prevent most common mistakes.

Romanian property market has it’s own specifics that you have to learn in order to make low risk investments:

You have to know taxation fees to estimate the full investment price and your possible profit
it’s a good idea to check the estate agents and the developer’s background

You have to consider earthquake problem when investing in real estate

Some lawyers might advice you to form a company in order to make an investment even if it isn’t necessary

You have to be informed about the maintenance costs (especially when you invest Off Plan)
learn to choose the right properties for Romanian market

The best deals aren't always in Bucharest, check the other cities too.

The local buyer is the best exit for your investment so you have to know the type of property they are looking for

Learn about mortgage in Romania for a better understanding of the local Property Market.

Why the real Estate Prices will rise for the next 5-10 years in Romania ?

Mortgage factor. Mortgage was not used until 2002. The same year the prices started to go up from $6000-7000 for a one bedroom apartment in Bucharest to €70,000-90,000 for the same property in 2007.Mortgage is still pretty expensive and qualifying conditions still have room for relaxation. Actual regulations are set to change in close future in order to guarantee credit access to a bigger part of the population.

Booming Economy. Romania is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, only after Estonia and Latvia. A 7.4% grow is for 2007 after a strong 7.8% in 2006.

Falling Inflation. With forecast inflation of 4.1% for 2008, Romanian proved it’s ability to keep inflation under control. This will lead to increased confidence in the property buying market with further more investments.

Increasing employment. Today unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Europe, with a fantastic 3% in Bucharest. In fact many sectors are in lack of workers, construction included.

Work migration. Few million people are working in EU countries especially after the EU integration. Over €6 billion are sent every year from the workers to their relatives in the country. Most part of this money is invested in real estate properties.The lack of workers in many sectors, including in real estate, will push up salaries and will increase property prices.

Increasing salary will permit more access to mortgage resulting in greater demand and higher prices.Increasing foreign investments. With €9.1 billion FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in 2006, Romania has some impressive opportunities for investors.Romania was the leading country in the region for FDI per capita.

Growing tourist industry. There is a 7.4% annual growth in this sector for the next ten years according to World Travel and Touring Council.EU Funding.

Romania will receive €32 billion funds for the years 2007-2013, to improve local infrastructure such as roads, schools, hospitals and agriculture. This will lead to more jobs therefore more people who can afford to buy or rent properties.

Why is the Romanian Real Estate Market still a good place to invest ?

It may surprise you to read that you can still find good places to invest in real estate properties and still expecting a strong growth for at least 5 to 10 years.

This is the case of emerging markets, and Romania is a very good example.

Why is Romania still a hot spot to invest?

1. Old and outdated house supply. This is the main characteristic of Romania real estate. There was little close to nothing invested in the residential sector in the past decade and a half. 90% of the current properties were built in the former communist regime and are not offering the quality of life the middle class is looking for.

2. Demand for residential properties is coming from the new and dynamic middle class which is profiting from the recent economic revival. They will benefit the most from the EU integration of Romania (first of January 2007).

3. Another thing to consider is that mortgage is still underdeveloped compared to the rest of EU countries or the US.

Interest are pretty high, offering some considerably profit margin for banks, and competition in this sector will only get tougher. More banks from EU countries will try to take advantage from the new EU member country with a 22 mill people population.

Credit conditions are still intended to sustain buyers looking to live in the properties they buy, being quite hard to take credit for pure investment purpose.

The vast majority of potential buyers still don’t qualify for a zero down payment mortgage. They usually have to make a down payment up to 25-30% from the purchase price.

These are the main characteristics of Romania property market that are making it different from other EU countries, including other recent members like Estonia or the Czech Republic.

Romanian Economy Overheating ?

04:37 - 23 Nov 2007

FT warns about Romanian economy overheating

The Romanian economy has been ringing alarm bells lately - commented British 'Financial Times' daily yesterday. The British analysts start from the concrete example of a successful business in Romania, Raiffeisen Bank, to show that not all news is good news about the Romanian economy. While many investors feel there are profits to be made from banking, real estate and other sectors, the International Monetary Fund sees things differently, and warn about the dangers of economic overheating in Romania.

Juan Fernandez-Ansola, the IMF representative in Bucharest, says: "In this over-optimistic environment we are trying to keep people alert to risks - not an easy task." On the other hand, Stephen van Groningen, Raiffeisen Romania's Dutch chief executive, treads carefully between enthusiasm and caution: "The long-term prospects are good. But in the short term, something has to give in the next year or two to get the economy to a better balance."
But now, according to the IMF, inflation jumped to 6 per cent last month from a low of 4 per cent in July. Rising energy and food prices, compounded by drought, are playing their part. But so is local pay, which is set to rise by about 20 per cent in real terms, with productivity rising at less than 10 per cent annually.

Moreover, whereas in other ex-communist states pay increases are generally driven by private companies, in Romania the public sector is in the lead, thanks to strong trade unions, which have just forced a 28 per cent rise in the minimum wage, FT further notes. Rising pay is helping to fuel a credit boom, particularly in home loans, but creditors might be assuming too much risk.

zondag 23 maart 2008

Jaspers in Romania

New EU funds "non- refundable" for Romania

In Bucharest, Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Dirk Ahner, Director General of the Directorate General for Regional Policy in the European Commission and Alexander Auboeck, Business Group Director for Infrastructure at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), opened the new regional office for the JASPERS facility. JASPERS – Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions – is an initiative established in 2006 by the European Commission and the two banks which helps the EU Member States in central and eastern Europe to develop high quality projects that will receive support from the EU's Structural and Cohesion Funds.

The majority of the JASPERS experts are based in regional offices so that they can work closely with the beneficiaries. The Bucharest office is the third regional office of JASPERS to be officially opened, following the opening of the Warsaw and Vienna offices earlier this year. It accommodates engineers, economists and financial specialists, together with support staff, backed by other expert staff in the European Commission the EIB and the EBRD. The new office is helping the authorities in Bulgaria and Romania to prepare major investment projects to be supported by European Union funds during the current financing period 2007 – 2013.
EIB President Philippe Maystadt commented on the office inauguration: “The JASPERS Office which we have opened today in Bucharest, only a few months after the accession of Bulgaria and Romania into the Union, will assist both countries to prepare projects to be financed by EU Funds. This new office enhances the network of JASPERS regional offices that now serves all the new Member States in central and eastern Europe on a regional basis, in an effort to help them use EU funding in the most effective and economical way”.

In nearly fifty years of existence, the EIB has gained valuable expertise in financing projects in priority areas for EU regional policies. In the new Member States the Bank has provided support to projects contributing to the balanced development of the enlarged Union exceeding EUR 40 billion. The JASPERS office in Bucharest is expected to be a significant tool in sharing this expertise, together with our partners from the Commission and the EBRD. It will provide technical assistance to new Member States that joined the Union in 2007 in developing projects suitable for EU funding, but also in using the Union’s resources in the best possible way.

Director General Ahner said: "Strengthening cooperation between the European Commission and international financial institutions, in particular the EIB and the EBRD, is a key element of our policy to make cohesion policy more effective. The opening of the JASPERS office in Bucharest is another important step in this process and it will provide the two newest Member States of the European Union with expert assistance from the three partners in JASPERS which will help them to make the best use of the substantial investment funds now available to them. More effective investment will lead in turn to improved competitiveness and higher growth which is the objective of the EU's cohesion policy.”

Alexander Auboeck, EBRD’s Business Group Director for Infrastructure, noted: “The EBRD has been operating successfully in Romania and Bulgaria since 1991, having invested EUR 3.3 and EUR 1.4 billion respectively in sectors ranging from energy, infrastructure and telecommunications, to banking, agriculture and industry. Working with its partners from the public and private sector, the Bank has mobilised around EUR 6.2 billion in additional investments in Romania and EUR 4 billion in Bulgaria, many of which have been for infrastructure and SME projects co-financed with the EU. We believe that the JASPERS regional office in Bucharest will substantially strengthen the ability of the JASPERS partners to provide input on the ground to the beneficiaries of EU funds in Romania and Bulgaria.”

Assistance from JASPERS is provided free of charge to the beneficiaries and is based on the contribution of staff resources from the EIB and the EBRD combined with financial resources from the technical assistance budget of the European Commission.

JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European RegionS) is a major joint policy initiative of the EIB, and the.

JASPERS will assist beneficiary countries (principally the new Member States and acceding countries of the EU) to prepare major infrastructure projects which will be assisted by the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds over the next budgetary planning period 2007-2013. All assistance will be offered free of charge. Assistance may be given to prepare individual projects or horizontal studies that cover more than one project or more than one country.

be complementary to the project preparation work carried out by national and local authorities;
provide upstream technical expertise as required from the early stages of programming and preparation through to the final decision to grant EU assistance.

Key areas for JASPERS include:

Trans-European networks (TENs)
The transport sector outside of TENs, including rail, river and sea transport
Inter-modal transport systems and their interoperability
Management of road and air traffic
Clean urban and public transport
The environment, including energy efficiency and renewable energy
Private public partnerships

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