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August 7, 2022

“Germany ranks first in terms of trade with Romania”

Interview with Mr. Sebastian Metz, General Director of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania).

What is the volume of trade between Romania and Germany? How do you see the perspectives?
Germany ranks first in terms of trade with Romania considering both the imports and the exports, being also one of the most important investors. German products are very popular in Romania, and the German quality standards are well received. The trade between the two countries reached in 2012 the amount of EUR 18 billion: the imports from Germany totalized EUR 9.5 billion, and Romania’s exports to Germany amounted EUR 8.4 billion. For 2013 we forecast a slight increase in both exports and imports.
The prospects are also very good and the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania) will continue to get involved so that the bilateral economic relations to evolve positively. With over 500 members, Romanian and German companies, AHK Romania is the largest bilateral economic association in Romania.
Through the services we offer we support bilateral trade, thus during the meetings and the events we organize Romanian and German businessmen are meeting and are able to make new contacts and to establish new businesses. Through the topics that we address during the monthly meetings of the members we try to be actual and to invite people from the ministries, decision makers, who can come directly in contact with the companies’ representatives. During the consultative discussions or during the presentation and information events we provide support to the Romanian and German companies, so that these be able to penetrate more easily and fully informed into the German market, or into the Romanian one respectively.
How would you describe the economic relations between the two countries?
The economic relations between the two countries are very good. As I mentioned, Germany is since 2007 the No. 1 trading partner of Romania and the third largest investor in Romania. The most important products that Romania imports from Germany are: cars, rubber and plastics, we export mainly machineries, textiles and metal products. Romanian-German economic relations are multilateral and in many areas even intense. This is reflected both in the volume and in the dynamic of the commercial relations,
Germany ranking third in the top of foreign investors, about 19,000 companies with German capital being registered in the Trade Register. The subscribed capital of the German companies was at the end of 2012 EUR 4.42 billion. The Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants to help strengthen these relations and to assist Romania in its development towards a strong economic nation within the European Union.
Were the political turbulences that took place in Romania last year affecting the German investments here and / or the German investors present on the local market?
I watched very attentive the events and the political debates which took place last summer. Important for any investor are the predictability and the stability, and politicians must focus more on the economic issues so that the Romanian economy to continue to grow.
As the results of a short term questionnaire conducted by AHK Romania this spring with the German companies in Romania are showing, most of the German investors are happy and they would choose again Romania as an investment location. The country contiues to be attractive for investments, but there are more things that need to be done, because in terms of many important factors, even in comparison with other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Romania’s progress is not satisfactory. We hope that the current government, which holds a majority in the Parliament, to show pragmatism and consistency with the challenges they face.
How would you characterize the relations German investors have with the Romanian authorities and institutions?
The questionnaire I was talking about above also shows that in the areas of ??transparency in public auctions, predictability of economic policies, corruption, political and social stability, those questioned are dissatisfied and their opinions were worse comparing to the ones they expressed last year. Regarding the relations with the Romanian institutions we are assuming an active role. As an important discussion partner for the German investors we have taken the important task of providing a first orientation and primary information, we help them to understand the economic relations in the Romanian context, we facilitate the necessary contacts with the decision makers.
What are your predictions regarding the German investors in Romania? Do you forecast they will reduce their presence on the local market or, on the contrary, more investors from Germany will be eager to do business here?
Even if the German companies find rather negative many factors regarding the investment location, however the overall image of Romania is relatively positive. The majority (83 percent) of the German companies would invest again in Romania, even if their number slightly decreased compared to previous years. This shows that despite some issues the German companies’ expectations were met and that their commitment here is overall a success and that it worthed.

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