Banat is More and More Attractive for Investors
- Interview with Mr. Vasile Logoteti Onofrei,
- Manager of "ONOFREI &
ASOCIATII" Law Firm
- by Camelia Schinteie
- - You own the first and the only
law firm specialising in offering business advice in the
western area of Romania. I know for a fact that among
your clients are companies of international prestige.
- In your opinion, what is it that
Timisoara is offering to these foreign investors ?
- - Our experience, gathered over the
last 6 years and a direct association with more than 100
investors of all types, enables me to state that our main
advantage is the wide "openness" for business,
for direct investments or joint ventures, as well as an
economical mentality, which is now closer to the Western
one than ever before. The regional proverb: ,,In Banat
even the dogs bark in four different languages", is
still true in many ways. For example, our company
currently offers services in four languages: English,
French, Italian and German.
- - How would you describe the
present circumstances regarding foreign investors ?
- - The Banat region is more and more
attractive for foreign investors. Unfortunately, the
national economical environment is characterised by high
legislative instability. The game of ,,hide and seek"
with the facilities offered by the Government to foreign
investors, exasperated them. The consequences of this
reality can be overcome, so that the extraordinary
potential which exists in this field might be valued at a
maximum, only by appealing to complex and constant
juridical assistance. If the manager of a company relies
on the competent advice of a law firm, the changing
legislative environment will not affect the investor in
the same manner. We must mention that the most important
fields of life Romanian market are not yet completely
covered, and the demand is consistently higher than the
offer. Opportunities are everywhere around us. Even with
a little money, but playing according to Western
standards, remarkable things may be achieved.
- - What are the advantages that
might determine people to invest in our city ?
- - There are many strong arguments for
investing in Timisoara, or in Banat. The main advantage
is the cheap, qualified labour force. Other reasons are
connected to the location of the area, the opportunities
in the business field, the presence of well-known
international banks, and a cleverly built infrastructure.
Also the fact that Timisoara has an international airport,
as well as a high education level and a strong system of
ethnic and religious tolerance are to be considered as
- - Which are the main problems that
foreign investors have to face ?
- - The biggest problem is the
bureaucracy. The only viable solution that would
eliminate stress, save time and money is permanent direct
counselling. Another problem is the one represented by
the lack of sufficient information and by the hardship
encountered when trying to obtain the missing information.
Coping with a reality you do not really know represents a
great danger. This is one of the situations in which
counselling is truly necessary. Fortunately, in the last
few years, specialised companies have appeared and
investors in all fields of activity need them. Our
company came into being as the result of a mission of the
American Bar to South Eastern Europe. The ,,ONOFREI &
ASOCIATII" Law Firm is constituted based on the
institutional model of a similar American company. As we
were directly benefiting from this expertise, my
colleagues and I were able to build a law firm
specialised in business counselling, which offers a wide
range of services, which are most probable to be needed
by a foreign investor. Efficiency, earnestness, fairness
and confidentiality have long ago entered our
- - What is the advantage of using a
counselling company ?
- - There are many advantages. The main
ones are the certainty of the business and the
professional assistance in a new economical environment,
which is constantly changing. The success of a business
in Romania is strictly dependent on its power to adapt to
this environment that is often described as being ,,hostile"
to implementation and development to foreign investment.
Let's not forget the costs which are far lower than those
in Western Europe, and which are paid for equivalent
services from the point of view of the quality.
- - What tips do you have for the
readers of our magazine ?
- - Internet has already made a few
early steps in Romania. One can find interesting
information on Timisoara and the Timis area On Line.
Unfortunately, not all the Romanian companies who have
access to cyberspace understand that the main language
used here is English.
- As for our company, more information
is available at http://www.law.ro