1. As Rödl & Partner is a multidisciplinary company with contributions to audit services, accountancy services, human resources, fiscal, business and legal consultancy; which of these sectors has performed the best in 2016 and why?
In 2016, the best performing sectors were the tax consulting, transfer pricing, financial and accounting services. The constant legislative changes and new regulations that sometimes must be enforced immediately, the heavy, constraining and unclear tax system, as well as the difficulties in obtaining legal provisions in a foreign language when addressing fiscal issues to the competent authority in Romania are the main elements that determine potential investors to turn to a professional company specialized in tax consulting.
Moreover, we see a growing interest of Romanian entrepreneurs to outsource financial, accounting and tax services to professionals, thus avoiding and preventing a series of misinterpretations of the law and ensuring a higher confidence and certainty, in the context of the legislative instability. Also, due to the recent legislative changes in 2016 related to transfer pricing, we see this as a potential business line growth in the future.
2. What do you tell your clients about an economy which is growing at almost 5%/ year in terms of risks and opportunities?
Most of our clients base their decision-making on sound research processes, in order to come up with an educated decision before investing in Romania or expanding their existing business. According to the data confirmed by the National Institute of Statistics in October, in the second quarter, the Romanian economy grew by an almost eight-year high of 6.0% based on high consumption. In terms of opportunities, the Romanian economic climate reflects a stronger demand for labour and a good chance to develop and stimulate investments. At the same time, the risks are related to the quality of growth, the main problem being that the growth is based on consumption.
3. How have you perceived the business appetite in Romania in 2016 and what are the perspectives for 2017?
We are confident that the general trend of economic growth will be maintained in 2017 and its positive impact on the business environment, felt in 2016, will continue the next year even if the International Monetary Fund warns that the economic growth registered this year in Romania will be followed by a slowdown to 3.8 percent, slightly over the 3.6 percent advance forecast in April. Even so, Romania is expected to register next year the highest economic growth pace in Europe.
Another good news is the decline of the unemployment rate. According to IMF, the rate dropped from 6.8 percent in 2015 to 6.4 percent in 2016, and it’s expected to reach 6.2 percent in 2017.