U.S. Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman on Friday said Romania was “on the brink of greatness” with the potential “to become a regional leader.”
Zuckerman toured the Ford plant in the southern city of Craiova, calling it a good example of cooperation between the two countries .
“It is a pleasure to be here, with you, to highlight the success of a remarkable American company and its impact in Romania,” he said.
He said Ford had invested over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in “an outdated and under-performing car factory.”
“Today, this plant provides very good jobs for over 6,300 hard-working Romanians,” he said. “Ford is … one of many success stories….Investors hire and train workers, cooperating with the government to develop a more economically secure Romania…. for all workers. “
Ford acquired Daewoo Automobile Romania in 2008 from the Romanian government. It started manufacturing vehicles in 2009 at the Craiova plant and can now produce up to 300,00 units a year. It is Romania’s third biggest exporter.
Beyond the success of the plant, Zuckerman said. “Romania has taken important steps and has the potential to become a regional leader. But in order to capitalize on that potential, there is still work to be done.” he added.
“. It will take visionary leaders such as President (Klaus) Iohannis and acting Prime Minister (ludovic) Orban to overcome the challenges to follow and lead this country towards a modern revival of Romania, a revival not only of the economy, but of all facets of Romanian life,” he said.
Zuckerman was accompanied by Orban, whose government was removed by parliament in a no-confidence vote on Wednesday, and other government officials.
Iohannis has nominated Orban for a second time to form a government. It is unclear whether the Liberal leader can secure parliamentary approval.