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BALANA DE PLI A ROMNIEI. FACTORI DE INFLUEN.

RESTRICII I OPORTUNITI Rezumat: romn-englez Data susinerii publice: 27 mai 2009, ora 10.00 Conductor tiinific: Prof. Univ. Dr. Gheorghe Zaman, Membru Corespondent al Academiei Romne Doctorand: Milea Gh. Camelia SINTEZA Balana de pli externe este determinat, din punct de vedere comportamental, de starea i structura economiei naionale, de condiiile externe i de evoluia valutelor n care se desfoar comerul exterior. Balana de pli externe este un instrument de nenlocuit pentru a caracteriza o ar n relaiile sale cu strintatea, pentru a evidenia punctele forte i slbiciunile unei economii n raporturile sale internaionale. Echilibrarea balanei de pli externe reprezint o necesitate pe termen lung. De aceea, excedentul, i mai ales deficitul extern al unei ri trebuie apreciate nu numai din punct de vedere al efectelor economice imediate, ci i prin prisma sumelor date, respectiv luate cu mprumut n scopul echilibrrii acestuia. Opiunea mea pentru alegerea temei tezei de doctorat BALANA DE PLI A ROMNIEI. FACTORI DE INFLUEN. RESTRICII I OPORTUNITI a fost determinat de perpetuarea deficitului de cont curent n Romnia, dup 1990, i de evoluia sa ascendent, mai accentuat n ultimii ani, precum i de necesitatea asigurrii sustenabilitii deficitului extern i a datoriei externe. Contul curent indic valoarea resurselor, sub form de bunuri i servicii, care au fost transferate din i ntr-o ar, fiind un indicator al competitivitii internaionale a economiei n cauz, al performanelor acesteia. Cercetrile realizate pe parcursul elaborrii tezei de doctorat s-au orientat ctre urmtoarele obiective: - evidenierea conturilor i sub-conturilor din cadrul balanei de pli externe a Romniei, responsabile de existena deficitului extern; - surprinderea caracteristicilor evoluiei contului curent al rii noastre, n scopul stabilirii cauzelor manifestrii deficitului acestuia; - reliefarea factorilor de care depinde sustenabilitatea deficitului de cont curent; - stabilirea msurii n care evoluia cursului de schimb al monedei naionale influeneaz balana comercial a Romniei; - prezentarea impactului evoluiei balanei de pli asupra nivelului datoriei externe a rii noastre; - analiza dinamicii i structurii datoriei externe, precum i a indicatorilor de ndatorare extern a Romniei, pentru a determina dac datoria extern a fost factor de cretere economic sau a contribuit la adncirea dezechilibrelor externe ale rii noastre; - estimarea sustenabilitii, pe termen mediu, a datoriei externe a Romniei; - evidenierea problemelor balanei de pli i ale datoriei externe ale Romniei; - prezentarea unor propuneri de mbuntire a situaiei deficitului extern al rii noastre. Totodat, pe parcursul cercetrilor din cadrul tezei, am evideniat insuficienele existente n adoptarea i aplicarea mix-ului de politici economice, necesar pentru mbuntirea evoluiei soldului contului curent. Politicile monetar, fiscal i a cursului de schimb nu au fost corelate astfel nct aciunea lor cumulat s aib ca finalitate realizarea echilibrului extern. n plus, n Romnia, s-a pus accentul pe politica cursului de schimb, ncercndu-se meninerea n permanen a unei devalorizri reale a leului fa de valutele n care sunt exprimate contractele de comer exterior. Aceast politic nu a fost coroborat cu msuri de politic fiscal i monetar care s o susin. La elaborarea lucrrii am utilizat calcule bazate pe date oficiale, privind ndeosebi metodele proprii propuse pentru evaluarea sustenabilitii datoriei externe; analize logice i calitative ale rezultatelor obinute, care s-mi permit interpretarea evoluiei balanei de pli i a datoriei externe ale Romniei, precum i determinarea cauzelor care au antrenat amplificarea deficitului extern i a datoriei externe n perioada de tranziie. 1

Totodat, am testat cantitativ una dintre teoriile existente n literatura de specialitate, i anume condiia Marshall-Lerner pentru a stabili n ce msur trendul cursului de schimb al leului fa de principalele valute n care se desfoar relaiile comerciale i financiare ale rii noastre influeneaz evoluia soldului balanei comerciale. n cadrul tezei am utilizat constructe teoretice care s-mi permit analiza i interpretarea evoluiei balanei de pli i a datoriei externe, ncercnd valorificarea potenialului explicativ al acestora n condiiile realitii economice a Romniei. Activitatea de documentare s-a bazat i pe informaii referitoare la metodele i modelele folosite de Departamentul de Studii Economice i de Statistic din cadrul BNR. Originalitatea tezei const n calculul elasticitii exporturilor i importurilor romneti n funcie de cursul de schimb, i al condiiei Marshall-Lerner pentru Romnia. Astfel, am ncercat s stabilesc n ce msur cursul de schimb nominal i real al monedei naionale n funcie de EUR i USD a influenat evoluia exporturilor i a importurilor de bunuri, i dac condiia Marshall-Lerner este respectat. n urma analizei rezultatelor, am explicat de ce deprecierea monedei naionale nu a produs mbuntirea soldului balanei comerciale a rii noastre. Un alt element de noutate se refer la analiza sustenabilitii datoriei externe a Romniei, n perioada 2009-2015, calculnd indicatorii ndatorrii externe, n contextul a trei scenarii (pesimist, moderat i optimist). Am ncercat s surprind cauzele trendului datoriei externe, pornind de la realitile economice, dar i problemele care pot aprea pe termen mediu n asigurarea sustenabilitii acesteia. Complexitatea sustenabilitii deficitului contului curent este analizat prin prisma principalilor factori de influen, prin intermediul unui model logic propriu. Lucrarea este structurat n 5 capitole, un capitol de concluzii i anexe. Capitolul 1 - Aspecte teoretico-metodologice viznd rolul i funciile balanei de pli externe - prezint definiia, structura i metodologia balanei de pli externe, dar i obiectivul, factorii de influen i politicile balanei de pli. Obiectivul balanei de pli externe este identificat ca fiind necesitatea echilibrrii, pe termen lung, a plilor cu ncasrile internaionale, i este determinat de existena unor costuri n cazul inegalitii dintre pli i ncasri. Se pune problema dac ne poate fi indiferent compoziia balanei de pli. Structura balanei de pli externe poate fii considerat o int n sine. Adic, se poate prefera un surplus al contului curent contracarat de un deficit al contului de capital si financiar sau vice versa. Aceast alegere este determinat, n principal, de dotarea cu resurse a rii respective. Excedentul i deficitul balanelor componente ale balanei de pli externe nu semnaleaz neaprat o situaie favorabil, respectiv, defavorabil. De exemplu, excedentul balanei comerciale nseamn a ceda mai multe bunuri strintii dect se primesc n schimb. Ca atare, o balan comercial excedentar poate fi considerat, n unele cazuri, defavorabil. Existena unui deficit al contului curent poate fi tolerat pe termen scurt (atta timp ct deficitul extern poate fi finanat din rezerve, investiii strine sau /i mprumuturi), deoarece acesta reprezint un influx de resurse n ar. Deficitul contului curent este considerat acceptabil n cazul rilor n curs de dezvoltare, cu condiia s asigure retehnologizarea i restructurarea economiei, nscrierea acesteia pe un trend al dezvoltrii durabile. Dac fondurile strine sunt orientate ctre sectorul productiv, dup o perioad de timp furnizeaz bunuri cu valoare adugat ridicat i, eventual, servicii conexe pentru export, care vor contribui la mbuntirea situaiei contului curent. Un transfer net de capital ctre strintate poate avea consecine negative, dac oportunitile de ctig din afara rii sunt inferioare celor din interior, sau dac ieirile de capital au fost realizate n urma unui excedent al balanei comerciale, obinut n mod pgubos: prin exportul unor bunuri strict necesare pe piaa intern sau prin practicarea unor preuri internaionale sub costurile interne. Situaia este defavorabil i atunci cnd capitalurile ies din ar, n cutarea unor condiii mai bune de valorificare, iar economia naional nu beneficiaz de capitaluri suficiente pentru a se dezvolta. Un aspect extrem de important care trebuie avut n vedere atunci cnd se studiaz conceptul sustenabilitii deficitului contului curent se refer la stabilirea unei ancore, a unor criterii potrivit crora deficitul de cont curent s fie sustenabil. O astfel de ancor, fa de care deficitul extern este sustenabil, ar putea fi neintrarea n incapacitate de pli a rii respective, aceasta reprezentnd un obiectiv al strategiei de politic economic. Capitolul 2 Modele i mecanisme de echilibrare a balanei de pli externe pe termen scurt, mediu i lung - conine o analiz a principalelor modele teoretice, existente n literatura de specialitate, care ncearc s ofere soluii pentru

echilibrarea pe termen scurt, mediu i lung a balanei de pli externe, pornind de la diferite premise simplificatoare. Modelele referitoare la echilibrarea i sustenabilitatea balanei de pli externe pornesc de la experiena rilor dezvoltate, economia Romniei n tranziie confruntndu-se, ns, cu unele evoluii atipice. Problematica deficitului de cont curent trebuie analizat n contextul unei abordri globale. Dar este necesar adaptarea analizei la specificul rii. Att n practic, ct i n teorie, se pune accent pe deficitele balanei de pli externe (i nu pe excedentele acesteia), deoarece procesul de ajustare determin reducerea rezervelor internaionale ale rii i adoptarea de msuri corective. Au fost trecute n revist mecanismele de ajustare a deficitului contului curent n condiiile cursului de schimb fix (abordarea prin elasticiti, prin absorbie i prin venit); realizarea echilibrului extern n condiiile ratelor de schimb fixe i flotante i a diferite grade de mobilitate a capitalului; abordarea monetar a echilibrului extern; realizarea echilibrului extern n rile slab dezvoltate i n alte economii mici i deschise; obstacole i ntrzieri n calea restabilirii echilibrului extern prin intermediul ratei de schimb nominale. Un principiu macroeconomic fundamental al unei economii deschise este acela conform cruia, pentru a avea un echilibru macroeconomic sustenabil, politicile monetar i fiscal trebuie s fie prudente i adecvate regimului ales al cursului de schimb. Aceasta nseamn c instituirea unui regim al cursului de schimb impune limite politicilor macroeconomice, inadecvarea acestora conducnd la dezechilibre severe. Conform teoriei economice, ratele de schimb flotante pot proteja mai bine economia mpotriva ocurilor de pe piaa bunurilor dect ratele de schimb fixe. Acestea din urm protejeaz, n schimb, economia mai bine mpotriva dezechilibrelor de pe piaa monetar. n consecin, rile susceptibile de a fi supuse la ocuri ale pieei bunurilor ar fi bine s adopte regimul flotant al cursului de schimb, n timp ce rile supuse dezechilibrelor de pe piaa monetar ar fi bine s adopte rate de schimb fixe. Dificultatea instituirii unui anumit regim valutar pentru economiile n tranziie provine din simultaneitatea dezechilibrelor interne i externe, ale pieei bunurilor i ale pieei monetare. Opiunea pentru un curs fix, unic, menit s constituie o ancor pentru nivelul preurilor interne reduce temporar inflaia, dar sfrete prin a dezechilibra balana de pli externe. Opiunea pentru un curs unic complet liber susine balana de pli externe, dar alimenteaz inflaia intern, prin antrenarea spiralei depreciere-inflaie. De aici rezult necesitatea corelrii politicilor macroeconomice i a opiunii pentru un sistem intermediar al cursurilor de schimb. n modelul keynesian, n condiiile ratelor de schimb fixe, dezechilibrele economice se transmit de la o ar la alta, pe cnd un regim al ratelor flotante izoleaz rile ntre ele. Ipoteza mobilitii capitalului este cea care restabilete transmiterea dezechilibrelor ntre ri, indiferent de mrimea lor. S-a constatat c atunci cnd ratele de schimb sunt flotante, cu ct crete mobilitatea capitalului, cu att scade eficiena politicii fiscale i crete eficiena politicii monetare (orice expansiune monetar are un impact suplimentar asupra venitului naional prin intermediul deprecierii monedei naionale), pe cnd n condiiile ratelor de schimb fixe, politica fiscal atinge maximul su de eficien, iar politica monetar este complet ineficient (orice expansiune a creditului intern se scurge afar din ar). Prezumia de ar mare restabilete eficiena politicii fiscale, n ciuda mobilitii perfecte a capitalului. Arbitrajul dintre profit i competitivitate este unul dintre elementele eseniale care explic amnarea reajustrii balanei comerciale (curba n form de J). n cazul comportamentului de marj se ntresc efectele devalorizrii, cci acesta blocheaz o parte din efectele variaiei ratei de schimb nominale asupra preurilor. Efectul net al modificrii ratei de schimb nominale, pentru o ar, depinde de elasticitile cererii de exporturi i importuri n funcie de pre. Plecnd de la premisa existenei de condiii pertinente ale elasticitii cererii n funcie de pre, trebuie s se in cont de efectele venitului care le pot contracara. Din acest punct de vedere, meninerea absorbiei, n paralel cu modificarea ratei de schimb nominale, este indispensabil. Pentru atingerea echilibrului extern este indispensabil o gestiune combinat a politicilor monetar, fiscal i de curs de schimb. Acest lucru este necesar cu att mai mult cu ct, n prezent, comportamentele la nivel microeconomic se interfereaz din ce n ce mai mult cu canalele de transmitere a efectelor variaiilor ratei de schimb nominale asupra preurilor. Comportamentele de marj, alturi de alte cauze ale ntrzierii reaciilor fluxurilor comerciale, fac din devalorizare /depreciere o arm care i pstreaz atuurile, dar a crei eficien pare, cel puin pe termen scurt, susceptibil de a fi din ce n ce mai condiionat. 3

Din analiz rezult c fluxurile balanei de pli externe sunt interconectate, i datorit substituibilitii i complementaritii acestora. Capitolul 3 - Analiza statistico-economic a balanei de pli externe a Romniei pe termen mediu i lung - studiaz evoluia balanei de pli externe a Romniei, n perioada 1990 2008, caracteristicile trendului contului curent i balanei comerciale, evideniindu-se o serie de elemente de continuitate i de discontinuitate. Pe fondul tendinei de deschidere a economiei romneti, se constat diversificarea i intensificarea activitii tuturor conturilor, sub-conturilor, capitolelor i poziiilor balanei de pli externe, dup declinul produs n economia real n 1991, ceea ce reflect redefinirea conceptelor, reorientarea produciei pe criterii de eficien i intensificarea relaiilor economice internaionale ale Romniei. Evoluia deficitului de cont curent n Romnia reflect o combinaie a factorilor structurali i de cretere pe termen lung, a ocurilor externe i a politicilor interne. Concret, deficitul extern al rii noastre a fost determinat de dou cauze majore: dezvoltarea insuficient a capacitii de producie a economiei naionale comparativ cu creterea cererii interne; majorarea accentuat a cererii determinat de mrirea veniturilor cu mult peste creterea productivitii muncii i de volumul mare de credite neguvernamentale acordate. Depirea pragului convenional de sustenabilitate a deficitului contului curent, n fiecare an dup 2003, relev c Romnia are deficite de cont curent excesive. Este raional din punct de vedere economic ca aceste deficite s existe, dar nu la dimensiuni att de mari. De aceea, este necesar adoptarea unor politici economice care s asigure sustenabilitatea deficitului contului curent, pe termen mediu i lung. Pe de alt parte, niveluri mai ridicate ale ponderii deficitului contului curent n PIB sunt acceptabile, neproducnd ngrijorri pe pieele financiare, atta timp ct investiiile strine acoper n proporie ridicat deficitul extern (cazul Romniei, pn n momentul reducerii apetitului pentru risc al investitorilor, ca urmare a manifestrii crizei economico-financiare n rile Uniunii Europene, principalii parteneri ai rii noastre). Influena determinant asupra soldului contului curent a avut-o deficitul balanei comerciale, de-a lungul ntregii perioade analizate. De aceea, teza cuprinde o analiz detaliat a dinamicii i structurii exporturilor i importurilor romneti, pe baza creia au fost elaborate previziuni privind modul n care vor evolua exporturile i importurile rii noastre, pe termen scurt i mediu. Dei exporturile romneti s-au majorat aproape ncontinuu n perioada analizat, ritmul lor de cretere a fost devansat aproape mereu de cel al importurilor. Dezvoltarea calitativ i cantitativ a exporturilor vine n contradicie cu o putere de expansiune economic limitat a Romniei de ritmul nesatisfctor al restructurrii sectorului real al economiei; de nivelul insuficient al resurselor disponibile i capacitatea sczut de atragere a acestora, n condiiile n care, industria a fost n declin o lung perioad de timp i a deinut, n mare parte, tehnologii ineficiente; de capacitatea redus de specializare pe categorii de produse, ceea ce mpiedic trecerea exporturilor romneti de la dezvoltarea cantitativ la specializare. Aceast stare de fapt explic ponderea mare a bunurilor intermediare i a celor de consum n exporturile romneti, bunurile de capital reprezentnd o proporie foarte redus din exporturi, artnd structura defavorabil a acestora i explicnd ritmul mic de cretere din punct de vedere valoric. Calitatea inferioar a produselor romneti, inabilitatea cronic a capacitilor de producie ale economiei rii noastre de a rspunde rapid stimulilor ratei de schimb i variaiilor cererii externe, costurile interne de producie ridicate, preurile externe sczute pentru exporturile romneti, infrastructura precar, barierele informaionale, subdezvoltarea instituiilor financiare, instabilitatea reglementrilor financiare i legislative sunt factori care au acionat negativ asupra exporturilor rii noastre. Pe de alt parte, dei moneda naional s-a apreciat nominal i real n raport cu euro (pe fondul aprecierii nominale i al reducerii inflaiei), ntre 2005 i 2007, exporturile iau meninut rata de cretere robust, efectul aprecierii fiind limitat i ca urmare a efecturii de ctre aceeai ageni economici att a operaiunilor de export, ct i a celor de import. Evoluia cursului de schimb nominal i real explic doar ntr-o anumit msur trendul ascendent al exporturilor, acestea dovedindu-se puin sensibile la deprecierea cursului de schimb, fiind influenate de ali factori cu efect mai puternic, n principal de cei care in de starea economiei romneti. Analiza structurii pe mrfuri a exporturilor i importurilor romneti evideniaz faptul c avem de-a face cu un comer intra-grupe de produse. Nivelul ridicat al importurilor nu este n sine negativ, dac se produc concomitent revigorarea produciei interne i creterea exporturilor. Au existat ani, ns, cnd importurile 4

rii noastre s-au majorat chiar n condiiile comprimrii puternice a produciei. Principalul motor al creterii importurilor l reprezint excesul de cerere de pe piaa intern. Importurile Romniei au suferit ajustri importante, att ca valori absolute, ct i ca structur, determinate de tendina de reutilare i retehnologizare a economiei rii noastre, cu maini i agregate, concomitent cu creterea rolului bazei interne de materii prime. Totui, baza extern de materii prime i energie rmne important pentru Romnia. n plus, se constat c mai mult de jumtate din importuri sunt produse cu grad nalt de prelucrare i complexitate tehnologic ridicat, ceea ce arat nivelul relativ redus de dezvoltare a economiei rii noastre i genereaz probleme pentru balana comercial. Evoluia importurilor, pe parcursul perioadei 1990-2008, nu este justificat de trendul cursului de schimb dect n mic msur i punctual. Elasticitatea sczut a importurilor la deprecierea monedei naionale reconfirm necesitatea corelrii politicii cursului de schimb cu celelalte politici macroeconomice, n special cu politicile de stabilizare i ajustare macroeconomic, n vederea mbuntirii situaiei balanei comerciale. Valorile condiiei Marshall-Lerner arat c, n Romnia, trendul monedei naionale n raport cu USD i cu EUR influeneaz evoluia balanei comerciale, doar n civa ani ai perioadei 1991-2008, i mai mult n sensul deteriorrii acesteia. Trendul real al leului fa de USD i EUR contribuie la nrutirea balanei comerciale n mai mare msur comparativ cu rata de schimb nominal. Prin urmare, n Romnia, cursul de schimb nu a acionat dect n foarte mic msur n direcia reducerii deficitului comercial n perioada analizat. Din punct de vedere al orientrii geografice, de-a lungul perioadei analizate, comerul exterior al rii noastre sufer un trend de concentrare, caracterizat prin intensificarea comerului cu rile Uniunii Europene i diminuarea relaiilor comerciale cu rile n tranziie din Europa Central i de Est i cu rile n curs de dezvoltare, evoluie care se reflect n structura pe valute a exporturilor i a importurilor. n privina structurii pe mrfuri a comerului exterior cu Uniunea European se observ o mbuntire n sensul creterii ponderii exporturilor cu grad relativ nalt de prelucrare n detrimentul celor cu grad redus, dei Romnia nc import din UE, majoritar, produse cu grad nalt de prelucrare. n tez sunt evideniate capitolele din balana de pli externe care contribuie la contracararea soldului negativ al contului curent, n prezent, precum i perspectivele ca aceast situaie s continue, dar i poziiile cu potenial de a participa la finanarea deficitului extern al rii noastre, cu condiia s fie adoptate msuri corespunztoare. Dei, soldul veniturilor din munc determin contracararea deficitului balanei comerciale i al contului curent, trebuie avute n vedere i o serie de efecte negative ale acestora. Se constat c este n cretere riscul ca balana veniturilor s contribuie din ce n ce mai mult la deficitul de cont curent, deoarece se manifest att o mrire a profiturilor repatriate i a dividendelor aferente investiiilor strine directe, ct i a dobnzilor pltite pentru mprumuturile externe primite. n paralel, exist tendina de reducere a intrrilor de venituri din munc, ca urmare a rentregirii familiilor romnilor plecai la munc n strintate i a ncetinirii puternice a economiilor rilor unde acetia muncesc, n special a sectorului construciilor. O alt caracteristic a evoluiei balanei de pli externe romneti este continuitatea valorii pozitive a soldului Contului de capital i financiar, i contracararea de ctre acest cont a deficitului Contului curent. n cadrul Contului de capital i financiar, se nregistreaz creterea discontinu a valorii creditelor externe pe termen mediu i lung pe toat perioada analizat, dar i majorarea important a creditelor pe termen scurt, antrennd mrirea datoriei externe pe termen scurt, dup 2004. Intuim de aici modul n care tranziia concur cu succes la un alt fenomen, acela al apariiei condiiilor ndatorrii externe. n tez, se analizeaz i msura n care datele oferite de balana de pli externe a Romniei pot fi considerate de ncredere. La nceputul perioadei de tranziie, deficitul contului curent al balanei de pli externe a Romniei a fost finanat, ntr-o msur semnificativ, prin mprumuturi externe. ncepnd cu 1997, s-a manifestat o tendin de acoperire a soldului negativ al contului curent, n principal, prin intermediul investiiilor strine directe. Aceast structur a finanrii deficitului extern denot sustenabilitatea ridicat pe termen scurt. ns sustenabilitatea pe termen mediu i lung a finanrii prin investiii strine directe este discutabil, n condiiile n care ISD reflect n Romnia, n destul de mare msur, ncasri din privatizare i n condiiile persistenei factorilor fundamentali care au generat dezechilibrul extern. ncasrile din privatizare se vor reduce n anii urmtori, datorit stocului limitat de active privatizabile, ceea 5

ce cauzeaz creterea vulnerabilitii economice a Romniei. Cel mai important dintre factorii generatori ai dezechilibrului extern l constituie tipul de cretere economic bazat pe absorbia intern, i nu pe exportul net. Pentru ca echilibrarea contului curent s se realizeze n continuare, i ntr-o proporie ridicat, prin investiii strine directe, atragerea acestora trebuie s constituie un obiectiv fundamental al politicilor economice i financiare. Este de preferat s se foloseasc investiii strine directe i de portofoliu comparativ cu mprumuturi i credite externe pentru finanarea deficitului de cont curent, deoarece primele prezint anumite avantaje. Dar, influxurile de capital strin sub form de investiii strine sau de mprumuturi externe contribuie i la creterea deficitului extern. n consecin, mbinarea optim a diferitelor forme de acoperire a deficitului contului curent reprezint o problem, nu numai pe termen scurt, dar i pe termen mediu i lung, i trebuie s se aib n vedere creterea potenialului ncasrilor din exporturi, ca surs de finanare. n condiiile existenei unor deficite mari de cont curent (ca pondere n PIB) i ale evoluiei ascendente nregistrate de deficitul extern, autoritile trebuie s i pun, cu toat seriozitatea i responsabilitatea, problema sustenabilitii contului curent, i s adopte politici economice corespunztoare. Trebuie avut n vedere i faptul c majorarea n continuare a deficitului contului curent poate pune sub semnul ntrebrii durabilitatea creterii economice i a procesului de dezinflaie. Capitolul 4 Datoria extern, factor de influen sau consecin a evoluiei balanei de pli externe a Romniei? - conine aspecte teoretice privind managementul datoriei externe, dar i analiza dinamicii i structurii datoriei externe a rii noastre comparativ cu dinamica i nivelul rezervelor valutare internaionale, precum i analiza indicatorilor ndatorrii externe. Datoria extern constituie o soluie de completare a economisirilor interne, permind rii care recepioneaz mprumutul, finanarea unui volum de investiii mai mare dect cel care ar fi posibil s se realizeze doar pe seama resurselor interne. mprumuturile externe pot servi i la finanarea deficitelor temporare ale balanei de pli externe, oferind autoritilor soluia evitrii adoptrii de msuri de reducere a consumului intern, care ar putea compromite programul de dezvoltare a rii. Dac deficitul balanei de pli este generat de factori permaneni, finanarea ndelungat prin mprumuturi externe poate ntrzia ajustrile necesare echilibrrii acesteia i agrava problemele fundamentale ale balanei de pli, antrennd acumularea datoriei externe, cu pericolul creterii acesteia dincolo de limitele sustenabile. Este indicat ca orice ar s i menin un nivel de ndatorare care s includ i o marj pentru contracararea unor efecte nefavorabile imprevizibile. Obiectivul fundamental al politicii de gestiune a datoriei externe trebuie s l constituie obinerea de beneficii maxime din mprumuturile strine, evitndu-se apariia de probleme privind stabilitatea macroeconomic i echilibrul balanei de pli externe. Decizia privind volumul de credite care urmeaz a fi contractat depinde de trei factori: nivelul rezervelor valutare i performana economico-financiar prognozat n urma administrrii acestora; nivelul capitalului care poate fi absorbit n mod eficient de economia debitoare; volumul de noi mprumuturi pentru care poate fi susinut serviciul datoriei externe. Nivelul sustenabil al ndatorrii externe este n funcie de fluxurile financiare externe pe care ara le poate absorbi eficient i de modul n care acestea pot genera, prin proiectele sprijinite, ctiguri valutare necesare plilor serviciului datoriei externe, fr a risca dificulti n plile externe. Sustenabilitatea pe termen lung este un concept dinamic, care depinde nu numai de stocul datoriei i de serviciul asociat acesteia, dar i de ritmul de cretere a noilor mprumuturi, evoluia situaiei fiscale i capacitatea de rambursare a datoriei externe. Neconcordana dintre mecanismul de alocare a resurselor i performanta economic, reglarea forat a echilibrului din economie, determinate de lentoarea procesului de privatizare a sectorului de stat, lipsa unui cadru legal i instituional, simplu i eficient, pentru funcionarea sectorului privat, mpreun cu ritmul lent i insuficient al reformelor structurale au condus la un dezechilibru structural al economiei romneti, care s-a adncit i a antrenat perpetuarea unor deficite considerabile de cont curent i ale bugetului consolidat al statului, generate de o economie care consum mai mult dect produce. n strns legtur cu o rat redus a economisirii interne, acoperirea acestor deficite i absorbia intern, pentru consum i investiii, s-au realizat prin recurgerea la economisiri strine. n cazul Romniei, acestea nu au luat forma mai eficient a investiiilor dect ntr-o oarecare msur, n ultimii ani, ci s-au manifestat cu preponderen sub forma mprumuturilor, ceea ce a condus la acumularea accentuat a datoriei externe, fr efect de propagare n economia real. 6

Perpetuarea n timp a deficitelor (bugetare i de cont curent) a ataat constrngerii externe, dimensiuni tot mai importante. Dup 2003, datoria extern privat pe termen mediu i lung a crescut semnificativ comparativ cu componenta de stat a acesteia. De aceea, trebuie avut n vedere c majorarea dependenei de pieele financiare externe implic un risc valutar mai mare pentru companii i, implicit, pentru bncile care le finaneaz. Majorarea accelerat, din ultimii ani, a datoriei externe pe termen scurt reprezint o problem major, care reclam noi abordri din perspectiva stabilitii financiare, mai ales pentru c dinamica sa este semnificativ superioar fluxurilor care pot fi utilizate n caz de avarie (exporturi sau rezerva oficial internaional). Potrivit calculelor mele, continuarea contractrii de datorie extern pe termen scurt, n ritmul n care s-a produs dup 2000, se va dovedi nesustenabil. Dei, valorile nregistrate, pn n prezent, de indicatorii datoriei externe i ai serviciului aferent comparativ cu rezervele oficiale internaionale evideniaz o capacitate relativ bun de ndatorare i de rambursare a rii noastre, potrivit unor standarde internaionale, acestea nu in seama de potenialul relativ modest al Romniei, n ceea ce privete acoperirea cu ncasri din exporturi, ntr-o msur crescnd, a datoriei externe n perspectiv. Situaia devine ngrijortoare n condiiile n care datoria extern reprezint aproximativ jumtate din PIB-ul Romniei i dac lum n considerare i viitoarea reducere a rezervelor valutare internaionale, ca urmare a msurii adoptate de BNR de a micora rezervele minime obligatorii pentru pasivele n valut cu scadena mai mare de 2 ani, ncepnd din mai 2009. Indicatorii de ndatorare extern s-au situat n parametri sustenabili, ceea ce reflect un nivel moderat de ndatorare a Romniei, dei dup 2004 s-a manifestat o nrutire a situaiei. Avnd n vedere c datoria extern i serviciul aferent ating niveluri destul de ridicate, iar reforma economiei reale nu este finalizat, acumularea n continuare de deficite finanate prin fluxuri generatoare de datorie extern poate determina n scurt timp niveluri critice ale gradului de ndatorare a rii noastre. n aceste condiii, se impune ca managementul datoriei externe i strategia de ndatorare extern s fie parte integrant a politicilor macroeconomice. Aceasta, mai ales, datorit faptului c rata serviciului datoriei externe brute a depit, uneori, nivelul critic, chiar semnificativ n 2005, 2006, 2007 i 2008. Alte motive de ngrijorare vizeaz creterea accelerat din ultimii ani a datoriei externe fa de exporturi i de PIB, i ponderea serviciului datoriei externe pe termen scurt n serviciul total al datoriei externe, care a ajuns la niveluri extrem de ridicate ncepnd cu 2005. Faptul c ritmul de cretere a datoriei externe totale depete cu mult dinamica PIB ne conduce la concluzia c datoria extern nu este folosit n scopuri productive, generatoare de venituri, de majorare a produsului intern brut, ci are alte destinaii, printre care se situeaz consumul neproductiv. Deci, mrirea datoriei externe, n ritmul n care s-a produs, nu a avut efectul ateptat asupra creterii economice. mprumutul contractat de Romnia, n 2009, de circa 20 mld. EUR, de la instituii financiare internaionale, ridic probleme suplimentare n ceea ce privete asigurarea sustenabilitii datoriei externe, ntruct: este cea mai mare sum mprumutat, vreodat, de Romnia; capacitatea de absorbie a acestor mprumuturi pare a fi redus, n condiiile n care Romnia a dovedit un grad foarte sczut de absorbie a fondurilor structurale n 2007 i 2008, care pe ntreaga perioad 2007-2013, se ridic la aproximativ 20 mld. EUR; o analiz comparativ la nivel internaional evideniaz c un grad de ndatorare extern similar cu cel al rii noastre i-l permit numai rile cu un nivel de dezvoltare economico-social i o capacitate de exporturi i de pli externe mult mai ridicate. Problemele care rezult din analiza rezultatelor simulrii realizate de autoare se refer la ritmul nesatisfctor de cretere a exporturilor i la majorarea excesiv a datoriei externe pe termen scurt, exporturile romneti (prin ritmul lor de cretere) nefiind capabile s susin un proces de ndatorare accelerat. Nici ritmul de cretere a rezervelor oficiale internaionale nu susine mrirea datoriei externe pe termen scurt, n condiiile scenariului pesimist, care a presupus continuarea creterii datoriei externe pe termen scurt i a serviciului aferent n ritmul nregistrat n perioada 2000-2008. Teza de doctorat subliniaz necesitatea elaborrii i implementrii unei strategii complexe i coerente de rambursare a datoriei externe, bazat pe evaluri realiste privind reforma economiei naionale, precum i a unei strategii de ndatorare, care s urmreasc asigurarea unui raport optim (sustenabil) ntre datoria pe termen mediu i lung, i cea pe termen scurt, respectiv ntre scadenele acestora, astfel nct povara returnrii datoriei externe s fie ct mai echilibrat repartizat n timp, n vederea evitrii presiunii vrfurilor de plat. 7

Capitolul 5 - Probleme deosebite ale balanei de pli i ale datoriei externe n Romnia red, sintetic, provocrile pentru evoluia sustenabil a balanei de pli externe i a datoriei externe ale Romniei, pe termen mediu i lung. Sunt evideniate riscurile, dar i anumite anomalii n evoluia balanei de pli i a datoriei externe n Romnia. Se concluzioneaz c Romnia este vulnerabil la un oc al balanei de pli externe. Politicile fiscal i de venit au fost expansioniste, iar guvernul nu a adoptat msuri de stabilizare adaptate situaiei interne i externe i mecanisme de sprijin n eventualitatea producerii unui eveniment defavorabil. nrutirea rating-ului de ar n 2008 a influenat negativ finanarea bncilor i influxurile de investiii strine directe. n plus, se manifest riscul valutar datorat fluctuaiilor cursului de schimb i se nregistreaz diminuarea creterii economice n 2009. Drept urmare, se pune problema sustenabilitii balanei de pli externe. O criz profund a balanei de pli externe, cu origini n politica monetar i bugetar, inflaie, supraevaluarea cursului de schimb, stagnarea exporturilor sau creterea excesiv a importurilor poate genera probleme n rambursarea datoriei externe. Soluia presupune remedierea problemelor economice fundamentale cu care se confrunt ara n cauz, de aceea o condiie a reducerii datoriei este ajustarea macroeconomic. n perioada analizat, n Romnia, s-a produs o cretere economic pe datorie, care a accentuat dezechilibrul extern i a demonstrat necesitatea tranziiei la un alt tip de cretere, bazat pe mobilizarea mai puternic i implicarea mai intens a factorilor interni, complementar cu aportul celor externi Ultimul capitol Concluzii, propuneri, recomandri - prezint i influenele pe care actuala criz economic i financiar, declanat n 2007, le exercit asupra economiei romneti mai semnificativ ncepnd cu septembrie 2008, prin efecte economice, financiare i sociale pe termen scurt, mediu i lung. Aceste influene acioneaz n sensul accenturii gradului de vulnerabilitate a rii noastre, a deficitului extern i a datoriei externe a Romniei, dar exist i cteva efecte favorabile ale crizei pentru economia noastr. Printre efectele crizei se numr: creterea nivelului de restricionare a acordrii de credite; diminuarea intrrilor de valut, antrenat de reducerea apetitului pentru risc al investitorilor; micorarea cererii interne a populaiei; creterea omajului; agravarea problemei sustenabilitii datoriei externe. Teza se ncheie cu prezentarea unor propuneri viznd mbuntirea situaiei deficitului extern al Romniei, asigurarea sustenabilitii deficitului de cont curent pe termen mediu i lung, prin intermediul unui mix adecvat de politici economice, care trebuie conceput n lumina persistenei turbulenelor de pe pieele financiare internaionale, a creterii preurilor internaionale la alimente i energie, a majorrii semnificative a deficitului de cont curent al Romniei, a meninerii presiunii din partea politicilor salariale i a capacitii limitate a cursului de schimb n sprijinirea procesului dezinflaionist. Propunerile vizeaz restricionarea creditului de consum; continuarea reformelor structurale pentru a crete productivitatea i competitivitatea extern; temperarea cererii interne; adoptarea de msuri de politic monetar i fiscal adecvate, de msuri structurale de mbuntire a competitivitii exporturilor, de msuri de stimulare a ofertei; valorificarea potenialului forei de munc, dar i mbuntirea calificrii acesteia; dezvoltarea sectorului serviciilor; revigorarea turismului i a serviciilor de transport. Considernd cele menionate anterior, precum i necesitatea evident a mbuntirii soldului contului curent, i a nivelului i structurii datoriei externe a Romniei, lucrarea de fa a fost realizat pe parcursul mai multor ani, ncercnd s conturez o imagine de ansamblu asupra cauzelor perpeturii i accenturii deficitului extern i a gradului de ndatorare extern a rii noastre, precum i asupra politicilor economice a cror adoptare i aplicare poate aciona n sensul diminurii deficitului extern i a datoriei externe, n sperana c va servi drept baz de documentare i instrument de lucru pentru studiile viitoare legate de problematica complex a sustenabilitii deficitului de cont curent i a datoriei externe.

THE ROMANIAN BALANCE OF PAYMENTS. DETERMINANTS. RESTRAINTS AND OPPORTUNITIES - Summary The evolution of the balance of payments is determined by the situation and the structure of the national economy, the external conditions and the trend of the currencies in which are denominated the flows of the foreign trade. The balance of payments is an irreplaceable tool for characterizing a countrys foreign relationships, for pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of an economy in its international relations. Obtaining the equilibrium of the balance of payments is a long-term necessity. That is why, the external surplus, and especially the external deficit of a country must be appreciated not only from the point of view of the present economic effects, but also in terms of the sums borrowed or lent in order to achieve the balance of payments equilibrium. My option for choosing the subject for the Ph.D. thesis THE ROMANIAN BALANCE OF PAYMENTS. DETERMINANTS. RESTRAINTS AND OPPORTUNITIES was brought about by the perpetuation of the current account deficit in Romania, after 1990, and its upward trend, more pronounced in the recent years, as well as by the necessity of providing for the sustainability of the external deficit and the foreign debt. The current account indicates the value of the resources, as goods and services, which have been transferred from and into a country, being an indicator of the international competitivity of an economy, of its performance. The researches made in the course of elaborating the Ph. D. thesis were oriented towards the following objectives: - pointing out the Romanian balance of payments accounts and the sub-accounts, which are responsible for the existence of the external deficit; - highlighting the characteristics of our countrys current account evolution, in order to establish which are the causes of its external deficit; - distinguishing the elements which influence the sustainability of the current account deficit; - establishing the extent to which the trend of the national currencys exchange rate has an impact on the Romanian trade balance; - presenting the impact of the balance of payments evolution on the level of our countrys foreign debt; - the analysis of the dynamics, structure and indicators of the Romanian foreign debt, in order to establish if the foreign debt has been an economic growth determinant or it has contributed to deepen the external disequilibria of our country; - estimating the medium term sustainability of the Romanian foreign debt; - pointing out the problems of the Romanian balance of payments and foreign debt; - elaborating some suggestions for improving the situation of our countrys foreign deficit. Also, during my research I have highlighted the insufficiencies existing in adopting and implementing the economic policy mix, necessary for improving the evolution of the current account balance. The monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies have not been correlated in such a way that their cumulative action should entail the achievement of the external equilibrium. In addition, in Romania, the stress has been laid on the exchange rate policy, trying to maintain a continuous real depreciation of RON compared to the currencies in which are denominated the foreign trade contracts. This policy has not been corroborated with monetary and fiscal policies measures meant to sustain it. In elaborating the thesis I have used calculations based on official data, concerning especially personal methods suggested for evaluating the sustainability of foreign debt; logical and qualitative analyses of the results obtained, which should allow me to explain the evolution of the Romanian balance of payments and foreign debt, as well as to determine the causes of the external deficit and foreign debt growth, during the transition period. Also, I have tested one of the theories from the economic literature, namely the Marshall-Lerner Condition, in order to establish the extent to which the trend of the RON exchange rate in terms of the main currencies in which are denominated the commercial and financial relations of our country has an impact on the evolution of the trade balance. At the elaboration of the thesis I have used theoretical constructs, which allowed me the analysis and interpretation of the balance of payments and foreign debt evolution, 9

trying to turn to account their explicative potential in the conditions of the Romanian economic reality. The documentation activity at the basis of this paper creation contains also information referring to the methods and models used by the Economic Studies and Statistics Departments of the National Bank of Romania. The originality of the thesis consists in the calculation of the elasticities of Romanian exports and imports in terms of exchange rate, and the computation of the Marshall-Lerner Condition for Romania. Thus, I tried to establish to what extent the nominal and real exchange rate of the national currency in terms of EUR and USD has had an impact on the trend of goods imports and exports, and if Marshall-Lerner Condition is observed. Following the analysis of the results, I explained why the depreciation of the national currency has not brought about the improvement of the trade balance of our country. Another element of novelty regards the analysis of the sustainability of Romanian foreign debt, between 2009 and 2015, calculating the foreign debt indicators, in the context of three scenarios (pessimist, optimist and moderate). I tried to disclose the causes of our countrys foreign debt trend, starting from the economic realities, and also the problems, which can appear on the medium term in providing for the sustainability of the foreign debt. The complexity of the current account deficit sustainability is analyzed in terms of its main determinants, through a logic model, elaborated by the author. The paper is structured into 5 chapters, a chapter of conclusions and annexes. The first chapter Theoretical and methodological aspects concerning the functions of the balance of payments - contains the definition, structure and methodology of the balance of payments, and also the objective, the determinants and the policies of the balance of payments. The objective of the balance of payments is identified as the necessity of equilibrating, on long term, the international payments with the receipts, and it is determined by the existence of costs in the case of inequality between payments and receipts. It appears the problem of whether the composition of the balance of payments can be indifferent to a country. The structure of the balance of payments can be considered as a target. That is, it can be preferred a surplus of the current account counter-balanced by a deficit of the capital and financial account and vice versa. This choice is conditioned, mainly, by the endowment with resources of each country. The surplus and deficit of the balances composing the balance of payments do not signal, necessarily, a favorable, respectively, unfavorable situation. For example, the surplus of the trade balance means delivering more goods abroad than receiving from abroad. Therefore, a trade balance in surplus can be considered, sometimes, disadvantageous. The existence of a current account deficit can be tolerated for a short time (as long as the external deficit can be financed from the international reserves, foreign investments and /or loans), because it represents an influx of resources into the country. The deficit of the current account is considered acceptable for the countries in development, provided that it entails the retechnologisation and restructuring of the economy, its sustainable development. If the foreign funds are oriented toward the productive sector, after a period they supply goods with high added value, and possibly, interfacing services for export, which will participate to the improvement of the current account situation. A net capital transfer abroad can have negative consequences, if the gaining opportunities outside the country are lower than those existing inside, or if the capital outflows have been achieved from a trade balance surplus, obtained in a prejudicial way: through the export of some goods strictly necessary on the home market or by practicing international prices below the internal costs. The situation is also unfavorable when there are capital outflows, in search of better yields, and the national economy does not benefit of enough capital for its development. An extremely important aspect that must be taken into consideration, when the concept of sustainability of the current account deficit is studied, regards the establishment of an anchor, of some criteria according to which the external deficit should be sustainable. Such an anchor, according to which the current account deficit is sustainable, could be that the country should not go bankrupt. That represents an objective of the economic policy strategy. The second chapter Models and mechanisms for equilibrating the balance of payments on the short, medium and long term - contains an analysis of the main theoretical models existing in the economic literature, which try to offer solutions for obtaining the equilibrium of the balance of payments on the short, medium and long term, starting from different simplifying assumptions.

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The models about achieving the equilibrium and sustainability of the balance of payments consider as starting point the experience of the developed countries, the Romanian transition economy facing some atypical evolutions. The problem of the current account deficit must be analyzed in the context of a global approach. But, it is necessary to adapt the analysis to the characteristics of each country. In practice, as well as in theory, the deficits of the current account are stressed (and not its surpluses), because the process of adjustment entails the reduction of the countrys official reserves and the adoption of corrective measures. There have been presented the adjustment mechanisms of the current account in the context of fixed exchange rates (the elasticities, absorption and income approaches); the mechanisms of achieving the external equilibrium in the context of floating and fixed exchange rates and different degrees of capital mobility; the monetary approach of the external equilibrium; the mechanisms of achieving the external equilibrium in low developed countries and in other small and open economies; impediments and delays in external re-equilibration through the nominal exchange rate. A fundamental economic principle of an open economy says that in order to have a sustainable macroeconomic equilibrium, the monetary and fiscal policies must be prudent and adequate for the exchange rate regime in force. This means that the implementation of an exchange rate regime sets limits for the macroeconomic policies, their inadequacy leading to severe disequilibria. According to the economic theory, floating exchange rates can protect the economy better against goods market shocks than fixed exchange rates. Fixed exchange rates protect the economy better against monetary market disequilibria. Consequently, the countries susceptible of suffering goods market shocks should adopt floating exchange rate regime, while the countries suffering money market disequilibria should adopt fixed exchange rates. The difficulty of establishing a certain exchange rate regime for the transition economies derives from the simultaneity of internal and external disequilibria, of the money and goods markets shocks. The option for a fix, single exchange rate, meant to be an anchor for the domestic price level reduces the inflation, temporally, but ends by entailing a disequilibrium of the balance of payments. The option for a single, completely free exchange rate sustains the balance of payments, but fuels the domestic inflation, by triggering the depreciation-inflation spiral. It results the necessity to correlate the macroeconomic policies and to choose an intermediary exchange rate regime. In the Keynesian model, when the exchange rate is fixed, the economic disequilibria are transmitted between countries, while a floating exchange rate regime insulates the countries from one another. The assumption of capital mobility is the one that restores the transmission of disequilibria among countries, regardless of their size. It has been remarked that when exchange rates are floating, the more mobile is the capital, the less effective is the fiscal policy and the more effective is the monetary policy (every monetary expansion has a additional impact on the national income through the depreciation of the national currency), while when exchange rates are fixed, the fiscal policy reaches its maximum of efficiency, and the monetary policy becomes completely inefficient (every domestic credit expansion flows outside the country). The assumption of big country restores the efficiency of the fiscal policy, despite the perfect mobility of the capital. The arbitration between profit and competitivity is one of the main factors that explain the postponement of the trade balance readjustment, namely the J curve. In the case of margin behavior, the effects of the devaluation are consolidated, as the margin behavior partly blocks the effects of the nominal exchange rate variations on the prices. The net effect of the nominal exchange rate change, for a country, depends on the elasticities of the export and import demand in terms of prices. Starting from the assumption of existing relevant conditions for the demand elasticities in terms of prices, one must take into account the effects of income, which can counter-balance them. From this point of view, maintaining the absorption, in parallel with the change of the nominal exchange rate, is indispensable. In order to reach the equilibrium of the balance of payments, a joint management of the monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies is indispensable. This is necessary, especially, because, nowadays, the microeconomic behavior interferes more and more with the channels of transmission of the nominal exchange rate variations over the prices. The margin behavior, together with other causes of the delays in the reactions of commercial

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flows, make from devaluation/depreciation a tool that keeps its benefits, but whose efficiency seems to be, at least on the short term, more and more conditioned. From the analysis, it results that the balance of payments flows are connected, also, due to their sustituibility and complementarity. The third chapter The statistic and economic analysis of the Romanian balance of payments on the medium and long term - studies the Romanian balance of payments evolution, between 1990 and 2008, the characteristics of the current accounts and trade balances trend, pointing out some elements of continuity and of fracture. On the background of the opening tendency of the Romanian economy, it has been observed the diversification and intensification of the activity of all accounts, under-accounts, chapters and positions of the balance of payments, after the decline of the real economy from 1991, which reflects the redefinition of concepts, the reorientation of production according to efficiency criteria and the intensification of international economic relations of Romania. The evolution of the Romanian current account reflects a combination of structural and long-term growth factors, external shocks and domestic policies. Concretely, Romanias external deficit has been brought about by two major causes: the insufficient development of the production capacity of the national economy compared with the increase in the domestic demand; the sharp rise in the demand entailed by the augmentation of income much over the growth of work productivity and the big quantity of nongovernmental loans. The exceeding the conventional sustainability threshold of the current account deficit, every year after 2003, points out that Romania has excessive current account deficits. It is rational from the economical point of view for these deficits to exist, but not at such magnitude. That is why, it is necessary to adopt economic policies, which should provide for the sustainability of the current account deficit, on the medium and long term. But, high levels of the ratio current account deficit in GDP are acceptable, not determining worries on the financial markets, as long as foreign investments cover largely the external deficit (Romanias case until the risk appetite diminished due to the occurrence of the economic and financial crisis in the European Union, our countries main partner). The trade balance deficit has had the determinant influence over the current account balance, all over the analyzed period. Consequently, in the thesis I analyzed in detail the dynamics and structure of the Romanian exports and imports. I, also, tried to predict the way the exports and imports of our country will develop, on the short and medium term, starting from the economic realities. Although the Romanian exports increased almost continuously after 1990, their rhythm of growths has been exceeded by that of the imports, almost each year. The qualitative and quantitative development of the exports is limited by Romanias economic expansion, influenced by the unsatisfactory rhythm of the real sector restructuring; the insufficient level of available resources and the low ability to attract them, considering that industry has been in decline for a long period of time and has had, mainly, inefficient technologies; the low ability to specialize on categories of products, which prevents the transition of Romanian exports from quantitative development to specialization. This status quo explains the high proportion of intermediate and consumption goods in Romanias total exports, capital goods representing a very low percentage of the exports, showing their unfavorable structure and explaining the low rhythm of growth. The inferior quality of Romanian products, the chronic inability of the production capacities of our countrys economy to answer promptly to the stimuli represented by the exchange rate and foreign demand variations, the high production costs, the low external prices paid for the Romanian exports, the precarious infrastructure, the informational barriers, the underdevelopment of financial institutions, the instability of financial and legislative regulations are elements which had a negative impact on our countrys exports. On another hand, although the national currency appreciated nominal and real in terms of euro (in the conditions of nominal appreciation and inflation reduction) between 2005 and 2007, the exports maintained their growth rate, the effect of appreciation being limited, also, by the fact that export and import transactions have been performed by the same economic agents. The trend of nominal and real exchange rate explains only partially the increase of exports, the exports proving to have low sensitivity at exchange rate depreciation, and being influenced by other factors with stronger effect, mainly by those called forth by the situation of the Romanian economy. The analysis of Romanian exports and imports goods structure highlights that the trade is intra-groups.

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The high level of imports is not negative if it leads to the revival of internal production and to the growth of exports. But, there have been years when the Romanian imports increased even if the production diminished strongly. The main engine of imports growth is represented by the surplus of domestic demand. Romanias imports suffered important adjustments, as absolute values, as well as structure, entailed by the tendency of re-equipment and retechnologisation of our countrys economy, with machines and equipments, simultaneously with the increase of the function of the domestic basis of raw materials. However, the external basis of raw materials and energy remains important for Romania. Additionally, it can be remarked that more than half of the imports are highly processed products, which shows the relatively low development level of our economy and generates problems for the trade balance. The evolution of imports, between 1990 and 2008, is justified by the trend of the exchange rate only partially and punctually. The low elasticity of imports in terms of national currency depreciation testifies for the necessity of correlating the exchange rate policy with the other macroeconomic policies, especially with the macroeconomic stabilization and adjustment policies, for improving the trade balance situation. The values of the Marshall-Lerner Condition show that, in Romania, the trend of the national currency in terms of EUR and USD influences the evolution of the trade balance only in a few years of the period 1991-2008, and more in the direction of its deterioration. The trend of the real exchange rate of RON in terms of USD and EUR entails the deterioration of the trade balance more than the trend of the nominal exchange rate. Therefore, in Romania, the exchange rate acted very little toward diminishing the trade deficit in the analyzed period. From the point of view of the geographic orientation, the foreign trade of our country suffered a trend of concentration, characterized by the intensification of the trade with the European Union countries, and the reduction of commercial relations with the transition countries from the Central and Eastern Europe and with the developing states, evolution which is reflected in the currency structure of exports and imports. As concerns the goods structure of our countrys foreign trade with the European Union, an improvement can be noticed, namely it has taken place an increase in the proportion of relatively highly processed goods, although Romania still imports from the European Union, mainly, highly processed goods. In the thesis, there are highlighted the chapters of the balance of payments, which counter-balance the deficit of the current account, at present, as well as the perspectives that this situation continues, and also the positions having potential to finance our countrys external deficit, provided that the appropriate measures are adopted. Although, the balance of compensation of employees counter-balances the current account and trade balance deficits, their negative effects must be taken, also, into consideration. The risk that the incomes balance contributes more and more to the formation of the current account deficit is increasing, because it takes place a growth of the repatriated dividends and profits of the foreign direct investments, as well as of the interests paid for the loans and credits received. In parallel, it exists the reduction tendency of the inflows of compensation of employees due to family rejoining of the Romanians left to work abroad and the strong economic slowing of the countries where they work, especially of the construction sector. Another characteristic of the Romanian balance of payments evolution refers to the continuity of the positive value of the Capital and financial accounts balance, and the counter-balancing by this account of the current account deficit. Inside the Capital and financial accounts, we can see the uncontinuous growth of long-term loans and credits, during all the analyzed period, but also the important increase in the short-term loans and credits, entailing the increase of short-term foreign debt, after 2004. We infer from here the way the transition leads to another phenomenon, that of appearing the conditions for external indebtment. In the thesis, the author analysis also the extent to which the data offered by Romanias balance of payments can be trusted. At the beginning of the transition period, the current account deficit of Romanias balance of payments has been financed, significantly, through foreign loans and credits. Starting from 1997, it appeared a tendency of counter-balancing the negative balance of the current account, mainly, through foreign direct investments. This structure of current account financing indicates its high sustainability on the short term. But the sustainability on medium and long term of current account financing through foreign direct investments is arguable, because foreign direct investments represent, in Romania, to a high degree, privatization 13

receipts, which will diminish in the next years, due to the limited stock of assets that can be privatized, causing the increase of Romanias economic vulnerability, and due to the persistence of fundamental factors which brought about the external disequilibrium. The most important of these factors is the type of economic growth, based on internal absorption, and not on the net export. In order that the current account equilibration is obtained in the future, in a high proportion, through foreign direct investments, the measures meant to attract them must be a part of the economic and financial policies. It is preferable to use foreign direct and portfolio investments than external loans and credits for current account financing, because the first have a few advantages. But, the inflows of foreign capital, as foreign investments or loans and credits, provoke, also, the increase of external deficit. Consequently, the optimal combination of the different types of current account financing represents a problem, not only on the short term, but, also, on the medium and long term, and it must be taken into consideration the increase of the exports receipts potential, as a financing source. With the existence of high and increasing current account deficits (as ratio in GDP), the authorities must, seriously and responsibly, study the ways of achieving the sustainability of the current account and adopt the adequate economic policies. It must also be taken into account the fact that the continuous increase, in the future, of the current account deficit can question the durability of the economic growth and the process of inflation reduction. The fourth chapter Foreign debt, determinant or consequence of the Romanian balance of payments evolution? - contains theoretical aspects concerning foreign debt management, and also the analysis of the dynamics and structure of our countrys external debt compared with the dynamics and level of foreign exchange official reserves, as well as the analysis of the debt indicators. External debt represents a solution of complementing the internal savings, allowing the country receiving the loans and credits to finance a larger volume of investments than that possible using only domestic resources. External loans and credits can also contribute to financing temporary balance of payments deficits, offering the authorities the solution to avoid adopting measures for diminishing domestic consumption, which could compromise the development program of the country. If the balance of payments deficit is generated by permanent factors, the long time financing through external loans and credits can delay the adjustments necessary for its equilibration, and can worsen the fundamental problems of the balance of payments, entailing the accumulation of foreign debt, with the danger of its increase beyond the sustainable limits. It is advisable that every country maintains an indebtment level, which should include a margin for counter-balancing unpredictable unfavorable effects. The main objective of the foreign debt management policy must be the procurance of maximum benefits from the foreign loans and credits, avoiding the emergence of problems concerning the macroeconomic stability and the balance of payments equilibrium. The decision about the volume of loans and credits that will be contracted depends on three factors: the level of foreign exchange official reserves and the economic and financial performance foretoken from their management; the level of capital that can be absorbed efficiently by the borrowing economy; the volume of new loans and credits for which the foreign debt service can be sustained. The sustainable level of foreign debt depends on the external financial flows that the country can absorb efficiently and on the way they can generate, through the projects supported, foreign currency earnings necessary to pay the foreign debt service, without risking difficulties in external payments. The long-term sustainability is a dynamic concept, which depends not only on the foreign debt stock and its service, but also on the rhythm of growth of the new loans and credits, the evolution of the fiscal situation and the reimbursement capacity of foreign debt. The disaccord between the resource allocation mechanism and the economic performance, the forced adjustment of the equilibrium in the economy brought about the slow privatization process of the state sector, the lack of a legal and institutional framework, simple and efficient, for the functioning of the private sector, together with the slow and insufficient rhythm of structural reforms have led to a structural disequilibrium of the Romanian economy, which deepened and entailed the perpetuation of considerable current account and budgetary deficits, generated by an economy that consumes more than it produces. In connection with a low rate of internal savings, the financing of these deficits and the domestic absorption, for consumption and investments, have been made by resort to foreign savings. In Romanias 14

case, these took the more efficient form of investments, only in the last years and in a certain proportion, but were mainly loans and credits, which led to an important accumulation of foreign debt, without a propagation effect into the real economy. The perpetuation of deficits (budgetary and current account) attached to the foreign constraint more significant dimensions. After 2003, the medium and long term private foreign debt increased significantly compared with the medium and long term public foreign debt. That is why, it must be considered seriously the fact that the exacerbation of the dependence upon the foreign financial markets implies a bigger exchange rate risk for the companies and, implicitly, for the banks that finance them. The boost from the recent years of the short term foreign debt represents a major problem, which requires new approaches from the perspective of financial stability, especially because its dynamics is significantly superior compared with that of the flows that can be used in case of troubles (exports or official reserves). According to my calculations, continuing to contract short term foreign debt, at the pace recorded after 2000, will prove to be unsustainable. Although, the values recorded, until now, by the indicators of the foreign debt and its service compared with the official reserves point out a good debt and reimbursement capacity of our country, according to some international standards, these do not take into consideration the relatively low potential of Romania, concerning the increasing of financing through export receipts of the foreign debt, in the future. The situation becomes worrisome because the foreign debt represents approximately half of Romanias GDP and if we consider the future reduction in foreign exchange reserves, due to the National Banks measure concerning the decrease of the minimum reserve requirements for the liabilities with maturities longer than 2 years, starting from May, 2009. The foreign debt indicators have recorded sustainable values, which reflect a moderate debt level of Romania, although after 2004, it took place a deterioration of the situation. Considering that the foreign debt and its service reach high levels and the reform of the real economy is not over yet, the accumulation of deficits financed by foreign debt generating flows can entail, shortly, critical levels of the debt indicators of our country. In this situation, it is compulsory that the foreign debt management and the foreign debt strategy should be integrated in the macroeconomic policies. Already, the rate of the foreign debt service, sometimes, passed over the critical level, significantly in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Others reasons for worry are represented by the boost from the recent years of the foreign debt compared to exports and to GDP, and, also, by the proportion of short term foreign debt service in the total foreign debt service, which reached extremely high levels after 2004. The fact that the growth rate of total foreign debt exceeds by far the GDP dynamics leads us to the conclusion that the foreign debt is not used in productive, earnings generating, GDP growth purposes, but it has other destinations, among which is the consumption. So, the rise in foreign debt, at the pace it occurred, has not had the expected effect on the economic growth. The loan obtained by Romania in 2009, of about 20 billion EUR, from international financial institutions, raises additional problems concerning the sustainability of foreign debt, because: this is the biggest sum ever borrowed; the absorption capacity of this loan seems to be low, considering that Romania had a very low absorption degree of the structural funds in 2007 and 2008, funds which are of about 20 billion EUR, for the period 2007-2013; a comparative international analysis points out that an indebtment level comparable with that of Romania can be afforded only by the countries having a much higher economic and social development level and export and payment capacity. The problems that result from the analysis of the results of the simulation realized by the author regard the unsatisfactory growth rate of the exports and the boost of the short term foreign debt, the Romanian exports (through their growth rate) not being able to back up an accelerated indebment process. The growth rhythm of the official reserves does not back up the increase of the short term foreign debt, in the pessimist scenario, which considered that the short term foreign debt and its service will continue to grow at the pace recorded between 2000 and 2008. The thesis underlines the necessity of elaborating and implementing a complex and coherent strategy of foreign debt reimbursement, based on realistic evaluations of the national economy reform, and, also, a debt strategy, which should envisage establishing an optimum (sustainable) ratio between the medium and long term and the short term debt, namely between their maturities, so that the burden of repaying the foreign debt should be distributed evenly along the years, in order to avoid the pressure of payment peaks.

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The fifth chapter Special problems of the Romanian balance of payments and foreign debt - presents, synthetically, the challenges for the sustainable evolution of the balance of payments and the foreign debt, on the medium and long term. The risks and certain anomalies in the evolution of the Romanian balance of payments and foreign debt are highlighted. It is concluded that Romania is vulnerable to a balance of payments shock. The fiscal and income policies have been expansionist, and the government has not adopted stabilization measures adapted to the domestic and foreign situation, and support mechanisms for the case of an unfavorable event occurrence. The deterioration of the country rating in 2008 has influenced negatively banks financing and the inflows of foreign direct investments. Moreover, the exchange rate risk appeared due to exchange rate fluctuations and it takes place a reduction in economic growth in 2009. Consequently, it appears the problem of the balance of payments sustainability. A serious crisis of the balance of payments, having origins in the monetary and fiscal policies, inflation, overvaluation of the exchange rate, exports stagnation or excessive increase of imports can entail problems in foreign debt reimbursement. The solution consists in solving the fundamental economic problems of the country, that is why a prerequisite for foreign debt reduction is macroeconomic adjustment. During the analyzed period, in Romania, the economic growth entailed debt, which exacerbated the external disequilibrium and proved the necessity of transition to another type of growth, based on a better mobilization and a more intense involvement of domestic factors, simultaneous with the participation of the external factors. The last chapter Conclusions, suggestions, recommendations - presents, also, the influences of the current economic and financial crisis, which has begun in 2007, on the Romanian economy, through economic, financial and social effects on the short, medium and long term, that have been felt significantly since September 2008. These influences exacerbate the vulnerability of our country, of Romanias foreign debt and foreign deficit, but there are, also, some favorable effects of the crisis for our economy. Among the effects of the crisis, there are the following: the increase of the credit granting restrictions; the diminution of foreign capital inflows, due to risk appetite reduction; the diminishing of population domestic demand; the increase of unemployment; the exacerbation of the problem of foreign debt sustainability. The thesis concludes with the presentation of some suggestions for improving the situation of Romanias external deficit, for achieving the medium and long term sustainability of the current account, through an adequate mix of economic policies, which must be thought taking into consideration the persistence of the turbulences from the international financial markets, the rise in the international food and energy prices, the boost of the Romanian current account deficit, the persisting pressure of the wage policy and the limited ability of the exchange rate to support the process of inflation reduction. The proposals regard restricting the consumption credit; continuating the structural reforms in order to increase productivity and external competitivity; moderating the domestic demand; adopting adequate monetary and fiscal policy measures, structural measures aimed at improving the exports competitivity, measures of offer stimulation; developing the work force potential, and improving its qualification; developing services; reviving tourism and transport services. Taking into consideration the above mentioned, and also the obvious necessity to improve the current account balance, the level and structure of Romanias foreign debt, the present paper was realized through several years, trying to outline an overall image of the causes of perpetuation and exacerbation of our countrys current account deficit and foreign debt, as well as of the economic policies whose enacting and implementation can act in the direction of diminishing the foreign deficit and the foreign debt, hoping that it will serve as documentation basis and work instrument for the future studies about the complex problem of current account deficit and foreign debt sustainability.

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