What are the main 2-3 successes of ABSL in the last year, but also things that could go better?
One of the main successes of this year was the fact that we offered the companies of the industry a lot of opportunities for collaboration, to exchange experiences and good practices. ABSL facilitated “face-to-face” meetings between companies, between companies and experts and organizes, at the request of the members, “knowledge sharing” events on topics of interest to them.
Also, the ABSL partnership with ASE gives us a great satisfaction. Thus, this year we have the first generation of graduates of the Master Program in Business Services. The fact that 96% of them at the end of their studies were already employed in companies within the industry confirms that we made a good choice when we decided to invest in the education of the young generation of specialists.
What are the goals of ABSL for 2019? How do you collaborate with the Romanian government?
In 2019 we aim to consolidate our position as a polarizing leader of players in the business services industry in Romania by attracting new members and relevant strategic partners.
We will continue to diversify our services so that we can respond to the specific needs that companies have according to their size, their location, the types of services they offer and their form of organization.
Also, in order to support our members but also the sector in general, we will continue to conduct research studies and reports, organize networking events, transfer of know-how and trends, recognition of good practices, etc.
We continue to be the voice of industry, of the 125,000 employees and 265 companies. Thus, we will continue to collaborate with the state institutions and offer them all our support and feedback so that the decisions and legislative projects that they adopt do not affect the development of this sector.
What do you think about the involvement of the Romanian state, in the last two years, in attracting international partners to invest in Romania / in Romanian businesses? What would you change, if you could, in this regard?
We support the development of the business services industry by frequently attending meetings with potential investors and facilitating the interaction between them and our members or local and central authorities. In this regard, we have a very good collaboration with Invest Romania (the government agency for foreign investments). We organize meetings with investors and exchange data and studies to support us in the activities we carry out.
This year we have noticed an increase in the number of meetings compared to the previous years, which confirms that Romania is one of the most sought after near-shore destinations. Of those who have visited us so far, two have already opened centers in Romania, one has chosen Poland and the others have not yet made a decision. We hope they will choose Romania.
Unfortunately, at almost every meeting we are asked about the legislative and tax changes that have been settled in the last year. These negatively affect the perception of foreign investors on the Romanian business environment. To grow we need stability and predictability.
What are the specific benefits arising from organizing the ABSL events?
The events are a tool for us to be able to develop the business services sector in Romania. These are an important source of information and reference for companies. They offer participants the opportunity to find out in advance about how the industry evolves so that they can adapt their strategies and plans.
The association offers companies the opportunity to be part of the largest community within the industry and to have a voice when it comes to negotiate with the authority. Furthermore, ABSL represents a platform that coagulates the initiatives of the sector that responds to its needs through studies and research, events, educational programs, facilitating cooperation inside and outside the industry, etc.