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May 15, 2021
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“Bilateral economic relations between Romania and Spain have reached a relevant level”




Interview with H.E. Mr. Estanislao de Grandes Pascual, Ambassador of Spain to Bucharest.
Taking into account both the volume of trade between Romania and Spain and the increasing investments that Spanish companies have made in our country during the recent years, how would you describe the economic relations between the two countries
Bilateral economic relations have reached a relevant level but still have potential to grow to a higher one. The official visit of Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo in May, this year, and the business forum that tock place during his visit, was an important moment for our economic relations. The official visit of Prime Minister Victor Ponta to Madrid in July completed this momentum since both countries PM’s have agreed to launch a strategic partnership between Spain and Romania. This strategic partnership will, for sure, strengthen our economic and political ties.
How much did the Foreign Direct Investments of Spanish origin increase lately?
According to the figures from the Spanish Ministry con Economy and Competitiveness, Spanish Direct Investments in Romania peaked to €43.18 million in 2012, from €29.55 million in 2011, in a context of falling overall Foreign Direct Investment received in Romania, from €1,815 million to €1,613 million from 2011 to 2012, proving that Spain, and its companies, are a reliable partner for Romania.
In which areas are the Spanish companies showing interest to invest in Romania?
For the first time in a few years, wind energy took a leading role in last year’s investments, from the real estate sector, previously. However, due to the ongoing changes in the support scheme for renewable energies in Romania, we expect this sector to lose momentum. Although there are a few promising projects in the manufacturing, environment and the oil&gas sectors, it remains to be seen whether one sector will draw sufficient attention from Spanish companies so as to take the role the aforementioned sectors played during the last ten years.
What position ranks Spain in the top of foreign investors in Romania?
According to figures from the National Bank of Romania, Spain holds the 12th rank among foreign direct investing countries in Romania, with a stock of FDI of €958 million, or 1.7% of total FDI stock, as of December 31st, 2011.
On the other hand, Romanian Direct Investment in Spain remained modest, at €1 million in 2012. Even though Romania is not a traditional foreign direct investor, several successful businessmen are building robust corporations and, hence, we would certainly welcome more Romanian investments in Spain, as well.
Spain currently offers a number of opportunities. Specifically, Spain is reaching a high level of buoyancy and leadership within Europe in activities linked to sectors such as automotive, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life sciences, ICT, agribusiness, aerospace and machinery-tools. These areas of the economy currently represent a turnover of 35% of national GDP and 42% of exports, while generating two million jobs and they are playing a key driving role in securing the country’s economic recovery. Opportunities can also be taken in Logistics & Transport, renewable energies and environment, and even in real estate, since prices are now much more competitive that at the beginning of the crisis.
Opportunities are particularly important in R&D activities, since Invest In Spain’s Technological Fund has been acknowledged as best practice by the Ministry of Finance in the use of the EU’s Technological Fund Operational Program. ICEX is the Spanish agency for foreign trade and investments’ support, and Invest In Spain is ICEX’ department for attracting and supporting foreign investors in Spain. Productive investments in specific regions may also be eligible for certain grants from the Ministry of Finance and each regional government also has its own support program. These are only some examples of the Spanish government’s commitment to investments.
Spain has progressed nine positions at AT Kearney’s 2013 edition of their Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, reaching the 16th rank, worldwide. Indeed, the average inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the past five years at EUR 25,000 million per year, roughly in line with FDI figures prior to 2008. Spain holds the 9th largest accumulated inward FDI stock, while we also are the 11th largest investor in the world.
Given Romania’s government and companies’ growing interest for non EU markets, and thanks to our centuries’-long bonds, Spain is extremely well placed to play, for Romanian companies, the role of hub or platform to reach Latin American and North-West African markets. In particular, Spain holds 15 agreements to avoid double taxation and 20 agreements for the protection and promotion of investments both-ways with Latin American countries. Madrid concentrates 35% of all of Europe’s air traffic with Latin America. Likewise, Spain holds both kinds of agreements with Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, among other Mediterranean countries. The Canary Islands are increasingly proving their potential to serve as a hub to connect with Eastern Africa. Romanian corporate could take advantage of the fact that some of the best Romanian professionals are already available in our country.
In terms of trade volume, how is 2013 expected to be?
In 2013, Romania’s and Spain’s bilateral trade is fairing very well. Bilateral trade in the first half of the year was over €1.1 billion, with Spanish exports growing over 15% and Romanian exports growing almost 33% compared to the first half of 2012.
Our bilateral trade can be labelled as mainly intra-industrial, with several sectors being among both Romania’s and Spain’s most important ones. Such is the case of mechanical machinery, vehicles and their parts, electric materials or textiles. On the other hand, sectors such as electric equipments and chemicals are more important for Spain’s bilateral exports than for Romania’s, whereas other sectors such as rubber manufactures and furniture are more important on the Romanian side of our bilateral trade.
In which areas are the Spanish companies showing interest to invest in Romania?

For the first time in a few years, wind energy took a leading role in last year’s investments, from the real estate sector, previously. However, due to the ongoing changes in the support scheme for renewable energies in Romania, we expect this sector to lose momentum. Although there are a few promising projects in the manufacturing, environment and the oil&gas sectors, it remains to be seen whether one sector will draw sufficient attention from Spanish companies so as to take the role the aforementioned sectors played during the last ten years.

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