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Press Release

News Aries-TM

The Romanian Association for the Electronics and Software Industry organizes and coordinates the participation of Romania under the national pavilion at prestigious technology events since 2007, with funding from the State Budget, through the Export Promotion Program (PPE). ARIES is a partner within the PPE, through the Export Council, a body that includes representatives of the government and employers, thus facilitating the promotion of products and services of Romanian companies on international markets.

Romania had a notable presence at such prestigious events, being comparable to that of international competitors. The details regarding the results of the attendances within the IT&C sector can be found on the page Romania IT | Aries-TM.

Starting from the spring of last year, ARICE (Romanian Agency for Investments and Foreign Trade) is in charge of the coordination and administration of the Export Promotion Program, an agency that acts as a specialized body of the central public administration, with legal personality, subordinate to the Government and coordinating the first – the minister.

Even though in the previous year we were able to successfully implement all the planned actions, it seems that there were also some unfortunate delays.

Specifically, we are now referring to MWC Barcelona 2024, the largest and most prestigious congress in the field of mobile communications globally. Although the steps for the organization of the national pavilion began as early as September 2023, facilitating the submission of application files for interested companies and submitting the necessary documentation to ARICE, the approval of the award documentation took place in November, and the publication of the bid for the designation of the company responsible for construction and setting up the stand and making the necessary expenses took place in December. The criterion for awarding the service contract was the lowest price.  

After the bid, including the resolution of a series of clarifications, in the second part of December 2023, the winning company was designated as Cool Promotions & Stands SRL. However, the contract with this company was signed by ARICE only on February 6, 2024, about three weeks before the start of the fair scheduled for February 26. Due to the uncertainty and lack of seriousness on the part of ARICE, and there were fears of delays in settling the costs related to the organization, the winning company notified the agency that it was withdrawing and denouncing the signed contract.

Indeed, there is also a financial problem with the agency that financially supports our country’s participation in such events, because it does not have an approved budget. Romania’s participation in all the international fairs scheduled between March and April and included in the ARICE list is at risk, because tenders for the exhibition stands have not yet been organized.

Although the Cool Promotions company has extensive experience in the field, at the same time, we emphasize that there is a gap in terms of its experience in participating in auctions organized by ARICE through the Export Promotion Program, given the specific context. This company has not been involved in such bid to date. We note that there is the precedent of signing the contract just a few days before the start of the exhibition event, but still managed to present there with a national stand and all participating companies.

Despite the authorities are aware of this critical situation, no action is taken.

ARIES, together with the 19 Romanian companies approved and registered in the national pavilion, made considerable efforts to ensure Romania’s participation at MWC Barcelona. Efforts have been made, such as holding hearings at the General Secretariat of the Government and sending written requests to the relevant authorities. However, as of now, no response has been received to any of the emails.

Therefore, Romania will not be present at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona fair this year, one of the most significant European events in the field of mobile technology. This is the first absence from this event since 2011, except during the pandemic.

The 19 Romanian companies approved and registered to participate with a national pavilion are producers of Romanian IT solutions and have demonstrated outstanding skills in the context of technological evolution and the accumulation of know-how. They represent prestigious names in the field, having partnerships including with the European Space Agency and the Horizon program of the European Union. We are talking about real IT entrepreneurs, companies that invest, innovate, develop their own solutions and support Romanian specialists, thus contributing to the creation and export of Romanian intellectual property around the world.

Non-participation in such an event, not only involves financial losses related to the preparation of the delegation and setting up meetings, but also a reputational risk both in terms of the external organizer of the fair, where we have obtained a position of trust, and in the relationship with our partners. Meetings were set up that could have generated new business opportunities, thus bringing revenue to the country.

This edition represented our tenth participation with a national pavilion, and our position was a respectable one in the eyes of the external MWC organizers. We have been involved in this endeavor with pleasure for many years, and we never expected to find ourselves in this situation.

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