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China wants to invest half a billion Euros in smart city projects in Romania

Emilia Olescu (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section /

China wants to invest half a billion Euros in smart city projects in Romania

Dumitraşcu, ARSCM: "The agreement with China represents the first stage in a large scale investment plan, with the CNEEC representatives expressing their interest in creating a long-term partnership in Romania"  

Zhang Yanfei, CNEEC: "The investment agreement concluded with ARSCM is an important step towards the development of some projects with major impact on the environment, energy and infrastructure"

Smart city type projects with potential for development in Romania are becoming increasingly attractive, with foreign businesspeople showing interest in investing in that kind of businesses.

One such major announcement was made a few days ago by the Chinese state, through one of the major companies it is a shareholder in, as its representatives have been holding talks with Romanian officials in order to conduct some impressive investments in the Romanian smart city projects.

China National Electric Engineering Co, Ltd. (CNEEC), one of the most important state owned companies in China, with large international activity, has signed a financing deal with the Romanian Association for Smart City and Mobility - Asociaţia Română Pentru Smart City şi Mobilitate (ARSCM) which stipulates the investing of 500 million Euros in the projects of that kind in Romania.

The financing deal concerns the development of projects in the main vertical areas of industry - energy, living, environment and infrastructure -, and the main goal is to support the projects of the ARSCM to develop the intelligent-creative communities in Romania, the representatives of the association told us. According to them, the agreement has a ten year implementation period, with the next projects to be announced in the coming period.

ARSCM and CNEEC have signed the financing agreement for the smart city projects on Wednesday, April 3rd.

In this context, Eduard Dumitraşcu, the president of the ARSCM told us: "We believe in Romania's potential for development and we have all the necessary ressources for the correct and consistent implementation of these projects. The funding agreement represents a major opportunity for the development of the Smart City industry in Romania. As we have promised, Romania will be an important hub in the region in the area of industries ancillary to the Smart City concept".

Eduard Dumitraşcu also told us that in the immediate future, the first rounds of talks with the municipalities, companies and institutions interested in accessing the funds available in order to localize the projects which will be financed through the money made available by the Chinese company.

This agreement represents the first stage in a large scale investment plan, as the representatives of the CNEEC expressed their interest in creating a long term partnership in Romania, the president of the ANRCM further said.

Zhang Yanfei, the president of the Board of Directors of CNEEC, stressed: "We are extremely pleased to be in Romania. We believe that Romania has a great potential for development in the area of smart cities. CNEEC will invest through the ARSCM in the coming years 500 million Euros in solutions dedicated to the smart cities. The investment agreement concluded with the ARSCM is an important step towards the development of some projects with a major impact in energy, environment and infrastructure".

As part of the meeting which the Chinese officials had with the Romanian government, Ramona Ioana Bruynseels, state advisor for the business sector on the team of the prime-minister said that the government supports investments in the Romanian economy: "Attracting new investments, the promoting of the public private partnerships (PPP), the attracting of European grants and international funding represent priorities for us and are solutions which the government continues to bet on to deal with the major issues that Romania is faced with, such as for instance infrastructure. The meeting with the representatives of the CNEEC once again confirms that Romania is still an attractive destination for investors, which of course is filling us with satisfaction and confirms to us that we are on the good path".

Between March 30 - April 3rd, the ARSCM has hosted the international delegation led by Zhang Yanfei and the vice-president of the company Yuan Bo, together with representatives of the relevant departments.

Over the few days, the Chinese have had talks with the representatives of the Romanian government, the Ministry of Energy, of some municipalities and institutions which would get involved in smart city projects.

During the negotiation rounds, the members of the foreign delegation have expressed their willingness to, assess the opportunity of investments in the priority major projects in the sector, together with the ARSCM such as highways or high speed railroads, according to the quoted sources. The company which has Chinese shareholders was listed for years by Engineering News Record, USA, in the "225 International Contractors" chart.

The CNEEC is one of the most important state owned companies in China which is internationally recognized. Aside from its success in its line of business, the company conducts significant projects of developing the energy, environment, waste management sectors, in dozens of countries.

The ARSCM is the main organization of the smart city industry in Romania, with its main goal the development of the creative-smart communities in Romania. The organization has an international activity, as it is a member of various organizations, consultative commissions, working groups, and is a partner in national and international programs together with the most important corporations involved in projects.

Eduard Dumitraşcu recently told us, in an interview he gave us for our supplement "Bursa Construcţiilor", that Romania is the only country in the area which is shaping up a National Smart City Strategy. According to him, we are having a positive competition between the cities, each of them seeking to attract more investments and furthermore, to shape up a strategy. The president of the ARSCM told us that, among the cities that have taken significant interest in that aspect is also Iaşi, and he said that 2018 was the year of Alba Iulia when it comes to the development of smart city projects. Also, Cluj is the standard bearer in that regard, followed by municipalities of all sizes - Sibiu, Satu Mare, Turda, Beclean etc.

Each authority has set its own priorities, as some are more prepared for adopting the changes, and others have adopted a few solutions and deemed them "smart", he said, and he added: "The reality is that without an intelligent strategy for development, there can be no talk of a smart city. Perhaps many municipalities will go with e-ticketing solutions or 2-3 applications, thinking they are becoming "smart". They will be forced to learn from their own mistakes. There are also municipalities which are approaching the macro level issue. The latest member of the ARSCM, the municipality of Iaşi, is the best example of vertical development, as it has projects for each branch of vertical development For instance, in the area of intelligent energy is under way: the use of Blockchain, the control of public lighting through sensors, the introduction of ambient light sensors, increasing the energy efficiency and cutting carbon emissions, with the active collaboration of utilities providers, the development of smart networks as well as intelligent energy storage solutions. But as I was saying, what is essential is for a consistent project to exist, well done and with assumed performance indicators.

Based on experience, we are finding that there is more openness from local players to learn, and that is what we are finding in the classes taught by the Smart City Academy, for self-improvement and finding good practices examples. Without generalizing, for instance, I can say that we are seeing a more open and certainly more effective administration than in the past years".

In the opinion of Mr. Dumitraşcu, it is necessary to move from the pilot projects phase, which many municipalities want, to that of the projects accomplished in public-private partnership, to be able to generate added value. Also, what is necessary is a better cooperation between the local administrations and the local players, which would also involve the academic sector.

Opinia Cititorului ( 2 )

  1. Cu tot respectul pentru traditionala prietenie romano-chineza,proiectele de tip "smart-city" trebuie sa ne asigure ca nu vor deveni un "cal troian" prin implementarea,la noi,a tehnologiilor inteligente chinezesti cu potential de spionaj....Vedeti scandalul Huawei....

    1. Fara niciun fel de cercetare oare ce se mai poate spiona poate rosiile olandeze

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