Romania and the CEE countries have suffered a significant reduction in foreign investment since the start of the recession, as investors have moved away from emerging markets in a search for security.

In these circumstances, it is even more important for Romania to take advantage of the large amounts available in EU funding for the 2007-2013 period.

The latest issue of the annual survey by KPMG member firms in the region EU Funds in Central and Eastern Europe, indicates that Romania’s take-up of EU funds continues to lag behind other CEE countries in many sectors.

“The KPMG survey shows that Romania is still behind on transport, energy and technical assistance. The good news is that take-up of R&D and HR development funds has been good. But there is a real need for a consistent improvement on infrastructure related funds. Many investors and business associations like the Foreign Investors’ Council (FIC) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (Amcham) have repeatedly pointed out that Romania’s poor infrastructure is a serious disincentive to investment”, said Daniela Nemoianu (photo), Head of Advisory KPMG Romania.

This makes travel and transport across the country slow and dangerous, particularly affecting northern and eastern areas, she continued. The railway network has also suffered from years of underinvestment.

With an average of only 16% of total EU budget contracted (30% the largest ratio and 3% the lowest) on transport, Romania is facing serious challenges and risk losing these opportunities.