Energy security - a goal of the Three Seas Initiative

George Marinescu
English Section / 7 septembrie 2023

Energy security - a goal of the Three Seas Initiative

Energy and IT&C - attractive sectors for American investors in our country

Versiunea în limba română

The collaboration between American investors and companies from our country must focus on innovation for prosperity in all sectors of economic activity, but especially in energy and in the IT&C field, stated the participants at the second edition of the US-Romania Economic Forum, organized by American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham), event that took place yesterday in Bucharest, on the sidelines of the "Business Forum of the Three Seas Initiative" (I3M), hosted today by Romania.

"We are at the second edition of this dialogue platform between investors and representatives of the authorities, which this year is a satellite of the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative. Regional security, resilience, economic prosperity and innovation are the main topics discussed in this edition. Romania has become a business destination for American investors, with the USA ranking fifth in the list of foreign investors in our country, and there is an obvious potential to increase economic ties between the two countries," said Cristian Sporiş, president of AmCham Romania , at the opening of the forum that brought together 250 representatives of the authorities from the two states, various institutions and the business environment.

Kathleen Kavalec, the US ambassador in Bucharest, stated that innovation is not only technology, but creativity, collaboration, courage and finding new ways to solve problems, create value and become competitive.

"As strategic partners, the US and Romania have a long history of cooperation and innovation in areas such as energy, information and communications technology, transportation, health, education and defense. We support each other for the development of critical infrastructure, the diversification of energy sources, of roads, the development of cyber-security, the modernization of military capabilities, advanced scientific research and the development of education. We have noted the growth of the private economic sector, which has huge potential for development, and here I am particularly referring to small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as start-ups that show remarkable adaptability, ingenuity and social responsibility. For example, the UiPath company appeared as a small start-up in Bucharest in 2005 and is now one of the largest software companies in the world. Based on the success recorded by UiPath, American investors decided to carry out several business projects in Romania, especially in the field of start-ups, building a strong investment environment on solid financial foundations and a reliable IT&C infrastructure. Companies need to be confident that their investments are safe, that they benefit from confidentiality regarding the conduct of business with business partners, from the protection of intellectual property rights, which can be compromised by untested Internet networks, data centers and other components of the IT&C infrastructure. Romania's establishment of the cyber-security directorate and the transition to purchases from reliable, law-abiding manufacturers show the authorities' desire to ensure a safe and protected environment for the digital economy. And this is important considering that your country has moved to the large-scale implementation of 5G technology," said Kathleen Kavalec.

The US ambassador in our country also referred to the negotiations regarding inclusion in the Visa Waiver program.

"A key point for the development of economic relations is the inclusion of businessmen from Romania in the Visa Waiver program. This would allow Romanian citizens to travel to the US visa-free for tourism or business purposes for a maximum of 90 days. Inclusion in this program would not only facilitate people-to-people travel and exchanges, but also boost investment exchanges regarding existing opportunities in the two states. But one of the criteria for inclusion in this program is a low visa refusal rate. We appreciate the effort made by the Romanian authorities to meet the criteria required by this program", stated Kathleen Kavalec.

His Majesty also said that the US supports the Three Seas Initiative, which it considers a strategic investment in building European cohesion, resilience and security.

"We appreciate the way in which Romania established itself as the leader of I3M and the agenda of this initiative since the establishment of that organization. Romania plays a vital role in ensuring energy independence and the diversification of energy supply sources in the region through the development of natural gas exploitation projects in the offshore perimeters of the Black Sea. Development of gas interconnectors with neighboring states and participation in regional initiatives such as the submarine energy transmission cable that will be built in the Black Sea, represent elements that will ensure energy stability in the region. We also appreciate Romania's efforts in modernizing roads, railways and ports on the Danube and the Black Sea. The digital transformation of the entire region will take place through Romania's contribution to a project to build networks that will lead to a digital highway of I3M", said Kathleen Kavalec.

Present at the event, Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Deputy Secretary of State for Energy Resources, mentioned that in the context of the use of energy resources as weapons by the Russian Federation, there is a need to accelerate the energy transition in the European Union and stated that the US is ready to support this transition.

"We already cooperate in the field of wind energy, nuclear energy and we can also cooperate in geothermal energy, in the use of hydrogen in energy production and contribute to energy interconnectivity. (...) The US supported the Ministry of Energy in Romania regarding the drafting of the necessary legislation for the development of offshore wind farms in the Black Sea", said Geoffrey Pyatt.

For his part, the Minister of Energy, Sebastian Burduja, stated that our country is a pillar of stability and security in the Black Sea region, especially in terms of energy independence.

"The Three Seas Initiative responds to the challenges of the energy transition and the current challenges generated by the illegal aggression unleashed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. We have a vision, it is called the Three Seas Initiative, which means interconnectivity between the member states, the creation of new interconnectors in partnership, which will increase energy security. We welcome the involvement of the US in the Three Seas Initiative, which is complementary to the billions of euros we have in the Modernization Fund and PNRR for the realization of energy projects. In terms of innovation, this is the solution to having new sources of green, sustainable energy. Technology in small modular reactors (SMRs) can be the answer to many problems, both for solving the energy needs of large industrial consumers and for reducing or stopping fossil energy production capacities. (...) When I talk about green energy sources, I also mean the possibilities offered by wind and solar energy projects. We have a huge market, a big demand for photovoltaic panels, but we have a big problem: all the products come from China. We no longer want these products to come from China, but we want to have photovoltaic panel production capacities in Romania", said Sebastian Burduja.

The Minister of Energy showed that the exploitation of gases from the Neptun Deep perimeter will ensure our energy independence and that the construction of wind farms in offshore perimeters in the Black Sea will turn us into an important energy exporter in the entire region.

Romanian-American cooperation in the defense industry

The defense industry represents one of the most dynamic sectors in terms of Romanian-American economic collaboration, said Radu Oprea, Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism.

"Together with the companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, we make new products, we have a share of technology transfer to be on the front line not only in terms of the support given to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, but also for the future. Defense, energy and IT&C represent important activity sectors for Romanian-American cooperation. We would like to have cooperation in the mining sector as well, where we use green, state-of-the-art, non-polluting and environmentally friendly technologies. We know that in this period supply chains represent a challenge for all companies and countries of the world. We want to produce in Romania, deliver Romanian products and be part of the stable supply chain of the USA", declared Minister Radu Oprea.

His Majesty said that for foreign investors the most important element is trust in the business environment and specified that American investors can be part of the development process, of economic reconstruction of Romania, especially since there is a huge potential of entrepreneurs for certain sectors of activity, including IT&C.

The Minister of Economy also showed that, although the USA is in fifth place from the point of view of the origin of the capital of the businesses carried out in Romania, American investors are in the third place in the list of green investments made in our country.

The "US-Romania Economic Forum" is AmCham Romania's main platform for transatlantic dialogue, bringing together decision-makers from Washington DC and Bucharest, local decision-makers and stakeholders, as well as leaders and professionals from the american's and romanian's business communities. Launched last year with the support of the US Embassy in Romania, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between the two states, the Forum serves as a space for recognizing past achievements in the bilateral economic relationship, identifying future challenges and taking advantage of emerging opportunities. The forum also aims to identify the areas of activity in which the two states can cooperate and complement the role that the USA has in Romania's national security, as well as the geostrategic and economic significance of our country in the transatlantic community.

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