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Lazea (BNR): We cannot hope for high-tech industry without an in-depth reform of education

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Industry has a significant share of Romania's gross domestic product and its weight thereof is growing, but on the other hand it relies just on low or medium technology and in order to hope for high-tech industry Romania must first undertake a thorough reform in education, chief economist of the National Bank of Romania Valentin Lazea told an economic conference on Wednesday. 

"The industry has a quite important and continuously growing share of the GDP structure, which does not apply for most European economies. Between January - August 2014 the industrial output saw a continued, fast-paced growth by 7.6 percent compared to the similar period of the year before. (...) Yet the economy relies mostly on low-tech and medium-tech industrial branches, which in recent years proved the highest profitability and productivity. Statistically speaking, our chance to produce regional champions doesn't check into reality. (...) We cannot hope for high-tech industry without an in-depth reform of education," said Valentin Lazea. 

In his opinion, the upsides for a foreign investor who decides to invest in Romania are the cheap workforce, the interesting geographical position and the reasonable taxation in the European context. "In the future, if we want to give up the cheap workforce, we must head for a developed infrastructure, an improved - particularly technical - education, and for a relative energy independence we are about to attain. Moreover, we must accept a higher taxation," said the central bank chief economist. 

Lazea also mentioned Romania's huge growth potential in productivity which is 8 times lower than Germany's, the Romanian companies' capitalization issues, but also the two million Romanians who work abroad and who should be brought home, as well as the other two million who live at the limit of subsistence and whom economy should integrate. 

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