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February 4, 2023

No major Chinese investment without political agreements

Central and Eastern Europe are seen by China as its gateway into Europe, the Asian state having invested important amounts and concluding serious agreements with countries such as Poland, Hungary and Serbia already. A ‘Romania Libera’ daily report shows that significant investments resulting from Romanian-Chinese bilateral agreements are totally absent from Romania because of the various commitments Romanian authorities have not fulfilled regarding the road, rail and air infrastructure. Smaller by 2.5 per cent than in Hungary, Chinese investment in Romania is more the result of private Chinese entrepreneurship than it is the consequence of bilateral agreements concluded between the two states. In Romania there are ten investments made by Chinese businesspeople totalling EUR 160 M, or approximately one quarter of the total value of Asian foreign investment in Romania, amounting to EUR 600-700 M. China is absent from the National Bank (BNR) statistics on FDI, where it is classified under the heading ‘less then EUR 100 M.’ Compared to the general definition, the FDI only comprises the contribution of equity and credit granted by parent companies. The biggest investment – EUR 40 M – is made by China Tobacco International near Buzau. It is followed by two factories making bicycles and scooters, one manufacturing printer cylinders and one producing building materials. The list also includes three companies specialising in retail and a waste processing plant. Romania-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Gabriel Ghel­megeanu says no major Chinese investment is possible without political agreements in place.

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