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Romania Introduces Strategy for Boosting IT Sector.

On the Eve of EU Accession, Industry Expects Continued Rapid Growth

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Romania's General Director for Export Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Economy, Costin Lianu, today introduced the country's National IT Sector Promotion Strategy at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. The plan, a key piece of the larger National Export Strategy, was signed into law, formalizing Romania's emphasis on the IT sector as an engine for continued growth. As a funded government initiative, the strategy will offer significant value to the market, building the country's customer support infrastructure, ensuring that IT customers and investors are offered increasing levels of service, and providing direct access to local market resources.

"This plan will strengthen our offering to the global information technology community and ensure that Romania continues to develop as the fastest growing market in Europe for Information Technology," Lianu said. "This plan represents a key step forward in our strategy for Romania's IT sector - as our country prepares to join the European Union, we see nothing less than its Golden Age."

On September 26, 2006, the Romanian Government was officially approved for full accession into the European Union on January 1, 2007. ITxpo is the first trade show the government has participated in since being officially confirmed to join the Union.

In preparation for accession, the Government will continue to work in partnership with the private sector to promote the industry to potential customers and investors. The Sector Promotion Strategy will fund a range of new services and programs to support those looking to do business in Romania, including:

* Development of an IT Investor Guide to support companies looking to finding partners in Romania;

* Beginning of a "red carpet service" that will help arrange site visits and the on-the-ground support to foreign companies interested in the IT sector;

* Distribution of content on the IT industry and training to commercial attaches in more than 20 Romanian embassies worldwide;

* Increased investment in voice and data communications infrastructure in rural areas with PowerLine Communications System, Wi-Max technology and soon 3G content;

* Support for Romanian companies in obtaining process improvement and quality certifications such as the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).

"With the Government dedicated to development and improvement through private sector growth and accession into the EU, our industry will certainly continue to expand, especially within the high-value areas of IT," Lianu added. "We believe that Romania will continue to exhibit the fastest growth in IT exports and investment not only in Eastern Europe, but throughout the EU."

Geared for Continued Growth

With more than 3,000 technology companies, and 400 million Euros in annual software and IT services revenue, Romania is already becoming a top destination for strategic investment in IT services and support in Europe. The country has been the fastest growing IT market in Europe over the last several years, (European Information Technology Observatory 2006 Report); with an average growth twice that of the next market in Europe.

On September 6, 2006, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) released their "Doing Business 2007" report, an assessment of countries' trade and investment climate. Romania was the number one reformer in Europe in terms of business environment. The average time it takes to start a business in Romania is 11 days - 21 days faster than the regional average. Additionally, the country now ranks seventh in the world in terms of easiness to start a business.

The increased ease of doing business has already been recognized by the industry's leaders. The country's growth in R&D and specialized business process outsourcing has been anchored by investments from top-tier technology companies including Alcatel, Microsoft, Oracle, Siemens and Infineon. With a greater number of engineers per capita than the U.S., India, China or Russia and strong multilingual skills, including 80% English fluency, and more prizes in international design competitions than any nation other than China, the U.S. and the former USSR, the country's highly-educated labor market is a basis of its continuous growth in key sectors.

"The success of Alcatel's R&D center in Romania confirms the professionalism of Romanian engineers," said Dan Bedros, General Manager of Alcatel Romania. "We are proud of our qualified and loyal employees, who build innovative solutions for the local and international markets. We have found costs to be competitive with offshore locations in Europe and Asia, and there is an excellent environment for recruitment of technical talent," Bedros added. "We believe that this part of our business will continue to grow."

Leading Romanian Industry Players Present at ITxpo

The Industry's booth at ITxpo will be sponsored by Romania's Ministry of Economy and Commerce and the Romanian Association for Electronic and Software Industry (ARIES). Romanian companies exhibiting at ITxpo (Booth 105) include:

* Absolute IT

* AKELA- Tech Team Global, Inc.

* IP Devel

* IT Six Global Services

* iQuest Technologies SRL

* Sysgenic Group

ARIES Executive Vice President, Florin Vrejoiu, is pleased that the industry has such a strong presence at one of North America's leading IT trade shows.

"As evidenced by our member companies, the Romanian ICT industry, is at an inflection point," said Vrejoiu. "We have been experiencing double digit growth in export volume on the top line for over five years. Now, we are also starting to see rapid growth in productivity. Romanian IT companies are delivering high-quality services and participation at top tier events like ITxpo is part of that trend."

Both Lianu and Vrejoiu will be available for media and analyst interviews during show.

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the IT industry's largest and most strategic conference, providing business leaders with a look at the future of IT. For more than 10,000 IT professionals from the world's leading enterprises, Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of their annual planning efforts. Attendees are responsible for more than $35 billion in IT spending for their respective companies, and rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use technology to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency. For more information, please visit www.gartner.com/symposium/us.

About Romania's IT Industry

Romania is one of the strongest markets in Europe for technology investment and trade, with a strong domestic market, successful top-tier investors, a large skilled technology workforce, strong foreign language skills and a friendly business environment. Leading Romanian companies already serve the world's most demanding offshore customers in IT outsourcing, business process outsourcing (BPO), call center, and product development and are strong players with their own products in the information security, eCommerce and communications markets. Romania's most competitive service categories include outsourced product development; complex BPO especially in financial and supply chain; R&D in information security and communications networking; multilingual contact centers; and technical support and maintenance. The group promoting and growing the IT industry is called "Tech21," a national public-private partnership. Its members include the Ministry of Commerce and Economy, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the Agency for Investment Promotion (ARIS), Romanian Association for Electronic and Software Industries (ARIES), the Employers' Association of the Software and Services Industry (ANIS), the Association for Information and Communications Technology (APDETIC), and the Association for Information and Communications Technologies (ATIC).

About ARIES

The Romanian Association for Electronic and Software Industries (ARIES) is the largest trade association for software and electronics in Romania and all of Central and Eastern Europe. With over 3,000 members, including the largest Romanian-owned firms and major multinationals, ARIES represents over 80 percent of the industry. ARIES maintains its headquarters in Bucharest and has branches in Timisoara, Iasi, Cluj-Napoca and Brasov to assist trade investors. It is the primary partner in Romania of the European ICT Association (EICTA) and also partners with major associations in the United States, Europe and Asia. ARIES' activities include promulgation of the ARIES Code of Ethics, to which its members subscribe. For these, and many other reasons, ARIES is your best entry point for information and communications technology in Romania. For more information, contact ARIES at: +4(021) 316 2774; Email: office@aries.ro; www.aries.ro

Links:

World Bank Doing Business 2007 (http://www.doingbusiness.org/)

Romania National Export Strategy (http://www.dce.gov.ro/SNE/National_exp_strategy.html)
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