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What the newspapers say: Thursday, March 4, 2010

de C.B.
Joi, 4 martie 2010, 8:49 English | Press Review

What did the Romanian economy have before the crisis and what did it lose? Elsewhere in the news, consumption will remain low in Romania in 2010 as well. Last but not least, Kazakhstan wants Romania on the Oil Road.

Adevarul reads what did the Romanian economy have before the crisis and what did it lose? Romania's GDP increased by 7.1% two years ago, only to turn to a minus in 2009, with sectors like constructions and commerce leading the way downwards. Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia and the Baltic States are the main losers of the economic crisis, the newspaper goes on. The economies of these countries recorded the biggest drops last year.

In 2009, the Romanian economy produced 116.19 bln euros, namely 491.27 bln lei. In 2008, Romania's GDP read 503.95 bln lei, when the economy recorded a 7.1% plus. The same percentage turned to a drop last year, with all sectors contributing to it, according to the Romanian National Institute of Statistics (INS).

Poland is the only European country that managed to avoid recession; Western economies had moderate drops, while Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Baltic States lost quite a lot. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania or their GDP diminishing in Q4 2009 by 9.4%, 17.9% and 13%, respectively, against the same 2008 period, mainly because of the Government's debt level and of the private sector.

Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovenia lost over 5% of their GDP due to the crisis. All three countries were depending on external financial aid. Investments in Romania dropped by 25.3%, the population's consumption - by 9.2%, while the industry saw a 4.3% minus. Romania's budget deficit recorded -7.4% in 2009.

Speaking about consumption, it will remain low in Romania in 2010 as well, according to Evenimentul Zilei. The large Romanian public cannot afford to renew their electronic gadgets and household appliances, choose cheaper food, don't travel out on holidays as often as before and leave home renovation for better times. The temptations during sales' period was high, but the correction many salaries suffered killed enthusiasm from its baby phase.

Big food brands have been given up in favour of the affordable food. And people buy less food on one go so that they will not have to throw it away. INS shows that consumption recorded a 10% low in 2009 against 2008. Carrefour, which joined the Romanian market recently, saw sales dropping 4.6% for products priced in euros. Coca Cola announced a 12% minus on the local market, almost as the same percentage as the plus in 2008.  

Mobexpert, furniture provider, recorded a 21% low in sales. Tourism did not do better either and electrical appliances were badly hit: Ultra Pro and Flanco are on the brink of bankruptcy, while Altex saw sales dropping up to -50%. What people in Romania didn't give up was their cigarettes and booze, products for children and medicines.

Kazakhstan wants Romania on the Oil Road, Romania Libera informs. The country aims to extend its capacity of oil delivery using pipes from China to Trieste, namely the antic Silk Road stretch. Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed with Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu about a new oil pipe in the Caspian region and the Black Sea, which should be connected with Constanta-Trieste oil pipe. According to Nazarbayev, this move will increase Kazakhstan oil supply by 50 million tones.

Nursultan Nazarbayev and Traian Basescu talked about a transport route via Caucasus, from Kazakhstan, through the Caspian Sea, towards Baku, then to Georgia, through Azerbaijan, to the Black Sea and Romania, according to Mediafax. This would make the Constanta-Trieste project very useful to Kazakhstan. Kazak company KazMunaiGas owns 100% the shares of Rompetrol group, which delivers to Spain, Italy and France. Nursultan Nazarbayev wants to build new terminals allowing the delivery on Danube to other European countries.

Currently, Kazakhstan transports oil to Europe and the Black Sea through Russia. Nazarbayev stated that Romania was Kazakhstan's main partner from Central and Eastern Europe and he invited Romanian companies to take part in the projects to come. The commercial exchange volume in 2009 read 800 million dollars. 35 Kazak-Romanian mix companies are active in various sectors, from oil and gas to constructions

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