Publicat pe 03/10/2018

Bucharest, October 2nd, 2018: The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania (CCIR), Mr. Mihai Daraban participated, on October 2nd, at the conference dedicated to Smart Start USA program, a project that aims to finance and facilitate the annual access of over 10,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs from Romania to the United States market. The event was organized by the Laufer Foundation, in partnership with CCIR, the US Embassy in Bucharest and the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, as well as financial companies.
The Smart Start USA program aims to create the first ecosystem in Romania dedicated to increasing the export and internationalization of Romanian capital companies with priority access to the US market. More than 1000 bank branches are involved in the implementation of the program, which will allow any company to benefit from the program and all its facilities, regardless of the city where they are located.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, Mr. Mihai Daraban, underlined the role of CCIR in supporting the internationalization of Romanian business: “Over the ocean there is a market of a dynamism out of the ordinary. We are interested in the Gross Domestic Product of our partners, either the nominal or the per capita. Importantly, the US has a savings of $ 19,390 billion, an increase of nearly two trillion in the past year and a half. It is a market that should tempt us more than the market of the European Union so far, where we have to admit we have become a subcontractor economy. In the US there is the highest density of multinationals, which offers investors a huge potential to penetrate other markets as well, America being a hub for many economic directions and beyond. Our mission is to support the internationalization of Romanian business, to move to the export stage of services. I want to provide the initiators of this project with all the support and help of CCIR, which we will offer unconditionally as we have until now”, said Mr. Mihai Daraban.

The initiator of the project, Mr. Ilan Laufer, made some references to the financial features of Smart Start USA: “I would like to thank especially Mr. Mihai Daraban, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, the first one who has given us a helping hand, which has been enormous for me and the team who joined the project along the way. The program has an annual budget of 500 million USD, registrations in the platform will be made by the end of this year, and in the future, we will launch a new edition and a new program. We are discussing a financial loan of up to 200,000 USD and a very small and very attractive contribution of only 15% for companies wishing to join the program. Smart Start USA has a maximum implementation time of 7 years and it is addressed to Romanian entrepreneurs who are active in the economic sectors that are priorities for the development of Romanian exports”, said Ilan Laufer.
“In order to attract foreign investors, the US Department of Commerce holds an annual meeting with potential donors under the name of Select USA. For example, over 3000 investors from 62 countries of the world took part last year. Two years ago, we managed to convince only 4 Romanian companies to participate in this meeting. In 2017, their number was 30, and in 2018 more than 50 investors were registered. In terms of representation, Romania was among the top five countries in the world and the first in Europe. Today we launch Smart Start USA. All these are signs of the health of the Romanian economic system, reflect the economic growth of Romania in recent years and show a much higher degree of confidence of the Romanian businessmen in their own power, opening up new horizons of business development ” sustained H.E. Ambassador of the United States of America to Romania, Mr. Hans Klemm.

“This program can be described in two words: team and complementarity. Smart Start USA is a need that the Romanian business environment has brought to us in the discussions that we have together, at the ministry, to have funding, to have access to international markets. This program is complementary to the one launched by us, the internationalization of Romanian companies, because you, the Romanian entrepreneurs, have reached a point of maturity. You have come to the moment when you can and must go to the foreign markets. If we are to be present on the US market in a very large number, the most dynamic market in the world, if we succeed here, we will succeed anywhere”, said Mr. Stefan-Radu Oprea, Minister for the Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Environment.
The event was also attended by: PhD Mr. Dorel Mihai Paraschiv, Vice-Rector of the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Mr. Alexandru Petrescu – President of FNGCIMM, Mr. Stere Farmache – President of the Romanian Anti-Fraud Fund, Mr. Alexandru Cumpănaşu – President of the National Coalition for Modernization of Romania, as well as other representatives of the Romanian business environment.


The Smart Start USA project provides support for entrepreneurship education and development for more than 10,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs each year, with access to a wide range of dedicated financial tools as well as personalized services.

Smart Start USA aims to develop priority economic sectors for Romanian exports, to increase the number of companies with Romanian capital involved in exports, to increase the number of Romanian capital companies that will expand on foreign markets, to create new jobs in the economy directly and indirectly through stimulating production and export, and stimulating banking financial markets.

The project will focus on the following economic segments: IT, automotive, real estate, pharmaceutical and medical, furniture and handicraft, tourism, agriculture, financial investment.