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ZF English

Foreign investors complain about tax evasion

Foreign investors complain about tax evasion
20.01.2004, 00:00 8

The biggest problem facing the foreign investors in Romania is not legislation, but the fact that laws do not apply, or they apply in a discriminatory fashion, said Antony Burgmans, representative of a delegation of European industrialists that were in Romania to meet with the authorities. "Good legislation is not enough. It takes consistent and constant implementation and long-lasting stability. Romania's problem is not incorrect legislation, but the fact that legislation is not implemented," said Burgmans, representative of the European Round Table (ERT) and president of Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever.

Although the Government is willing to consider changing certain stipulations in the Labour Code and the Fiscal Code that have come under fire from the foreign investors, the latter are rather concerned with the implementation of laws and norms.

"I do not feel that the real problem lies in the high taxation levels, but in the fact that some economic agents do not pay the taxes they owe. The authorities are trying to fix this problem, and, for instance, posting a list with all the companies owing large debts to the State budget is a step in the right direction," Burgmans added.

The meeting was attended by Romanian Government officials - Premier Adrian Nastase, Finance minister Mihai Tanasescu, Foreign minister Mircea Geoana, by a delegation of European industrialists and by officials from the Foreign Investors Council (FIC). Participants tackled the steps that need to be taken by the Government to improve the business environment. Antony Burgmans said he was happy with the Romanian authorities' openness to the suggestions made by the industrialists. The Unilever official also said that, despite the current problems, the Romanian business environment would improve, so that Unilever would continue to invest in Romania.

"We will continue to invest in expanding our production facilities in Romania and we shall export more to the German market," Burgmans stated. Unilever investments in Romania have already exceeded 100 million dollars. Unilever Romania last year logged 92m euros in sales, up 21% from the previous year. Last October, the Ploiesti-based Unilever plant started exporting detergents to Germany.


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