Poland and Romania as strategic partners in economic relations

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Bilateral economic cooperation between Poland and Romania is booming. Our bilateral trade has been registering a constantly upward trend in the last 10 years. It is good to see both exports and imports grow steadily. In 2016 Poland ranked 5th among the providers of goods and 9th in terms of destination for the Romanian products. According to the statistics of the Polish Ministry of Economic Development, in 2016 the commercial exchange between Romania and Poland reached the record value of 4,86 billion euro. It means an increase by almost 10% compared to 2015 and doubling in comparison with 2007, when the commercial exchange was at the level of 2,17 billion euro. The upward trend continues this year, as in the first half of 2017 the bilateral commercial exchange has reached 2,65 billion euro. This constitutes an increase by yet another 13,6% compared to the first half of 2016.

There are many Polish companies set on the Romanian market and more and more inquiries from the Polish investors and traders are registered. As the Romania National Trade Register Office estimates, in September 2017 there were 996 companies with Polish capital active in Romania. The National Bank of Romania’s report on Foreign Direct Investment ranks Poland as high as 17th in terms of investments. By December 2015 the Polish companies invested almost 500 million euro in Romania. It is important to stress that also Romanian companies are searching for business opportunities in Poland. We are looking forward to attracting more and more Romanian investments to Poland.

All sectors are equally important for the development of Polish-Romanian bilateral economic cooperation, but there are certain sectors in which the Polish companies have unique know-how and experience from other markets. These are mostly food industry and packaging, chemical industry, construction, furniture and services (including banking, cash processing, debt collection, IT, consultancy, etc.).

According to the Eurostat’s statistics, both Poland and Romania continue to enjoy high GDP growth, Romania being on the top with 5,6% GDP growth in the first quarter of this year, and Poland being 5th with 3,8%. In addition, on the 14th February 2016 the Polish government adopted a long-term fiscal plan – known as the Morawiecki Plan, named after the deputy PM Mateusz Morawiecki – which sets out a roadmap for Poland’s economy until 2020, including an outlook for the next ten years. To shift economic gears, Poland will pursue policy grouped in five key directions including reindustrialization, support for innovation, finding the right capital sources, foreign expansion and an equitable division of the benefits. The program should lead to several measurable goals to be attained until 2020, i.a. achieving a per capita GDP of 79% of the EU average, boosting investments, raising R&D spending to over 25% of GDP, increasing the number of mid-sized and large firms to over 22,000, increasing level of FDIs of Polish firms by 70%. There is a number of solutions in the Plan which Romania decided to incorporate in its own development strategy, including improving business climate and investing in innovations sector, as well as creating Sovereign Wealth Fund, drawing from the Polish experience and the recently established Polish Development Fund (PFR). There has already been numerous consultations held this year on the governmental level to exchange experience and to discuss about options of deepening commercial cooperation.

Romania remains attractive for Polish investors. The constantly growing number of Polish companies active on the Romanian market is the best proof for that – their registered number might soon exceed the 1000th threshold. One of the biggest advantages of Romania is its large market and proximity to Poland, but also to other Balkan countries. Many of Polish investors producing in Romania export their goods to other markets, making Romania a perfect hub for their activities. Another important asset is Romanian qualified, well-educated and multilingual workforce. Last, but not least advantage for the Polish investors is the Romanians’ friendly attitude toward Poles and the fact that Poland has a positive country brand. All these benefits help bilateral trade and investment to simply bloom.