Michel Cywinski, Economic Counsellor at French Embassy to Bucharest: Romania, a country of opportunities

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Romania experienced a strong growth since 2013 which reached a pick in 2017 at 6.9% i.e. the second best performance in the European Union (EU) and realized a considerable catching-up in terms of development since it joined the EU in 2007. The GDP per capita thus jumped from 39% of the EU average in 2006 to 63% in 2017.

This accelerated convergence allowed to reinforce our bilateral relationships which were already dense. France is indeed today the 4th investing country with an investment stock amounting to 4.2 bn€. The Romanian trade register identifies more than 2 300 French owned firms, generating 95 000 direct jobs and 13 billion euros of turnover. Besides the numerous SME’s based in Romania, 36 out of the 40 biggest French listed companies are present in the country.

This density is also to be seen in the intensive bilateral exchanges which continue to progress reaching 8 bn€ in 2017. France is also the third client of Romania and its 5th   supplier whereas Romania is the 25th client of France and its 28th supplier. The transport sector is at the heart of our trade relations but the industrial and agricultural machinery sector has not been left behind.

The country’s geographical and strategical location, the workforce’s skills and its capability to speak different languages (particularly English and French) give big opportunities for the French companies. The latter thus profit from this favorable environment in various sectors (transports, IT, retail, agriculture, banks, industry). We also note that the government’s clear willingness to accelerate the rhythm of structural reforms that could improve the business environment, if their implementation is effective. We can in particular name among the last examples the emergency ordinances about the public-private partnerships and the public procurements.

At the dawn of the centenary of modern Romania, of the Romanian presidency of the EU council and of a France-Romania season which looks very promising, the opportunities of cooperation and trade relationships are numerous for our companies.