Rosia Montana: Will a Vocal Minority Deny Romania its Right to Huge Benefits? – by Catalin Hosu (Huffington Post – November 1, 2013)

Catalin HosuRegional is the Regional Communications Manager for the Roşia Montană Gold Corporation.

Lively debate on the subject of the Rosia Montana gold project continues – some of which is informed and possesses a basis in fact, and some of which does not (as was highlighted in my recent Huffington Post article “Debate is Good”).

The fact remains that the project has numerous tangible benefits and is able to directly address several issues not only in the area where the project is located but in Romania as a whole; however some of its opponents seem intent on disregarding these, without presenting any real alternatives to real issues.

It is not for me to suggest that Rosia Montana holds the only solution to Romania’s problems; nor that it is the only project with the capacity to boost Romania’s economy; nor that it will single-handedly solve the area’s unemployment. However Rosia Montana is one possible solution to so many of these problems and therefore deserves, at the very least, proper consideration.

In our world, in Romania and more specifically in Rosia Montana, there are some undeniable truths. These exist, whether you are in favour of mining or against it, and should constitute the basis of any informed argument.

People need jobs

Romania’s poverty rate is still among the highest in the EU – the fact is that Romanians need jobs. Unemployment in Rosia Montana stands at over 65%, a figure that would be much higher if it were not for the employment created by the hundreds of millions of dollars already invested by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC).

Mining operations in Rosia Montana will create some 7,000 direct and indirect jobs during its construction phase and around 3,600 direct and indirect jobs during its operational phase. Most of these jobs will be in the immediate vicinity of the mine and will be given to Romanians.

A new and modern mining industry in Romania is a practical means of providing thousands of jobs for a very skilled and competent labour force. There has been much press speculation on emigration and the subsequent flight of labour from Romania, particularly when EU barriers are lifted at the beginning of 2014, but what has been done to ensure against this? Clearly any meaningful lowering of national unemployment needs to be part of a wider government strategy, but can we afford to dismiss an opportunity to instigate this process?

Foreign direct investment generates economic growth

It is commonly accepted that foreign direct investment (FDI) generates economic growth in its recipient countries through the creation of jobs, the advancement of skillsets, the transfer of technology and the encouragement of a competitive market.

Romania needs the economic growth offered by FDI. We need to stimulate industry and one of the ways to do this is to encourage foreign investment. In a recent article, one of Europe’s leading businessmen, Sir Martin Sorrell, identified Romania as a particular success story within Central and Eastern Europe, a region in which WPP, the world’s largest marketing communications group, sees significant growth. Should we encourage global companies, such as WPP, to operate in Romania or should we close our doors to the opportunities they provide?

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