Monday, June 30, 2008

Where is Romania?

Countries like Poland, Slovakia and Russia frequently make the headlines. Their growth impresses western analysts and journalists, their domestic events provide for enough (yet not too much) excitement and their names are recognized by most, if not all, spell-checkers and individuals.

But what about Romania? Had there not been high growth? Does it find itself in a "development trap"? Judging by the news coverage, one would never guess that Romania had made enormous advances in recent years. (In fact, I am not sure I have heard the country mentioned since I saw a flood of posters at major European airports in early 2007, announcing/promoting the latest EU enlargement).

And today, my news feed claims that Romania has been "hard hit" by the global financial turmoil. But when I looked up IMF's most recent "consultation with Romania," most of what I saw was praise. The kind that sounds genuine, supportive and substance-based.

Unemployment is falling, growth is well above 5%, fiscal balance is certainly EU-worthy (despite rapidly rising government expenditures) and the growth of external debt appears to have stopped. National Bank of Romania is also praised by the IMF: "Directors welcomed the NBR's commitment to price stability in a challenging environment, and stressed the need to firmly anchor inflation expectations. The NBR has appropriately tightened the monetary stance since mid-2007 ..."

While Romania may not have quite "shined" as much as other emerging markets, at least by the high standards and expectations of the media, the numbers show that it has been successful and is bound to do well in the future. This is a country that should be watched and talked about more - there is clearly much more to it than Dracula-jokes.

1 comment:

cel mai misto tip din Romania said...

I just want to say this: a lot of romanians go to work far away from this country. This says a lot. ;)