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Net inflow of EU funds in Romania at 30.4 bln euro between 2007 - 2017

By Edwig Ban
Romania received 45.7 billion euro in EU funding over 2007 - 2017, which accounts for an annual average of 2.8 percent of GDP; considering also Romania's contribution to the EU budget, net inflows of European funds stood at 30.4 billion euro, or a yearly average of 1.8 percent of GDP, governor of the National Bank of Romania Mugur Isarescu told a conference on Monday.
He voiced his conviction that the absorption of European funds should be systematically targeted for large scale development projects that should be prioritized in such a way as to support sustainable economic growth. Infrastructure investments have not only an economic role but also a social, political and even national role by reducing the gaps between regions, Isarescu underscored.
Between 2007 and 2016, structural and investment funds accounted for an average of about 27 percent of the total investments of public administration.
Mugur Isarescu said that according to International Monetary Fund estimates, the cumulative effect of attracted European structural and investment funds on GDP growth in the interval 2007 - 2016 has been between 1.2 and 1.6 percentage points of GDP. A 95 percent absorption rate for these funds during the current multiannual financial framework would lead to a potential GDP growth rate by 1.7 percentage points higher in 2022 and Romania could attain a potential GDP growth of around 5 percent per year.
'For us to achieve a fast but also healthy development we need to seek a preponderantly qualitative, not just quantitative growth, and this growth should prompt the convergence of production structures and growth in infrastructure, we should not think only about revenue growth for the immediate period. This would mean an increase in the supply of production factors, and I am referring here primarily to capital along with the labor force, but also to the efficient use thereof, respectively to productivity,' Isarescu said.
According to him, pushing economic growth beyond what the economy can really give results in short-term growth in revenue but also in imbalances and tension building up.
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