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January 27, 2023
BUSINESSSUPPLEMENTS

Sebastian Metz, General Director of AHK Romania: Romania-Germany, a successful collaboration

Romania and Germany have had important economical and diplomatic relations throughout history. Especially after Romania joined the European Union, economical bilateral relations intensified and continuously increased during the last few years, showing a great evolution. Thus, we are expecting this trend to maintain for this year as well.

According to the Federal Institute of Statistics, during January – October 2014, imports from Romania to Germany reached EUR 8.5 bln., while Romanian exports to Germany reached EUR 9 bln.

In Romania, there are approximately 8,000 active German capital based companies. The German car industry, as well as the automotive industry, are best represented, but German capital based companies are also working in the fields of trade and services.

German direct investments reached over EUR 6.7 bln by the end of 2013 and Germany is still positioned third in Romania, in the chart of foreign investors. Last year, German companies continued showing their interest in Romania, consolidating their position and continuing the projects and investments they initiated. No new major investments were registered, but German companies present in Romania go on opening new production units and centres of research and development. German companies consolidate their activities and will continue to invest, as there is a stable and positive trend of German investments in Romania. There are numerous branches that show potential for development, depending on what the investors want to do, and depending on their profile. The most of them work in the processing industry, food and agricultural field, environment, IT, energy and infrastructure.

Romania may also become an important centre in the field of research and development. A positive evolution in this direction is proved by the adoption, in 2014, of the law regarding professional inventions, which is important especially for the car industry that involves numerous German companies. This law sets the foundation of a new relation between Romanian employees creating inventions and their employers, and provides all employers in Romania a chance to encourage inventive activities, to pay them properly, and to protect them completely, both nationally and internationally, by registering the patent of the invention and the utility pattern. This thing will empower Romania as a good place for investments and will make her more attractive especially for foreign investors interested mainly in research and development. Yet, financial support is needed from behalf of the state, too; as in Romania, research and development are granted no more than 0.4 per cent of the GDP, compared to Germany, where the share of GDP granted to this field is of almost 3 per cent.

An important matter related to research and development is innovation, because it defines best the times we are living in. A recent Eurostat study shows that no more than one in five Romanian companies is performing innovation activities during 2010 – 2012, and our country is positioned in the last place in the EU in the chart of companies interested in innovation. Germany is placed on the first position of this chart. Romania also needs a strategic and long-lasting approach, a long-term vision, consistent investments in the field of research and development and a careful promotion. The Romanian – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK România) actively works for an intense promotion of innovation, as Romania’s potential is huge. By example, at the conference Cities of Tomorrow, we provide the audience food for thought on topics such as intelligent cities, mobile architecture, new intelligent transportation and infrastructure systems, technologies for communication, management and constructions. The Cities of Tomorrow forum, presently at the third edition, is Romania’s most important mix of business, architecture and administration. The event is conceived as an intense and complex combination of presentations, organized discussions and networking.

Another subject we are interested in is education. The experience of German companies involved in production shows that the labour market is dealing with a lack of qualified personnel and companies and schools alike need counseling on the topic of professional schooling. We try therefore to contribute to the development in Romania of a professional training system based on the German pattern and to outline the advantages of this system. As a member of the Coalition for the Development of Romania, the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry is actively engaged in the favour of long-term projects of professional training.

Education is a topic that concerns us for a very long time, so that we conducting an active dialogue with everyone involved in the educational system, with decision makers, authorities, schools and company. An improvement is needed in the collaboration of companies and the state education system. The first positive signals appeared by the initiatves to introduce professional schooling in dual system, based on the German pattern. The first success stories appeared and we are hoping that they would multiply.

The Romanian – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry is actively involved and supports projects related to professional education so that Romania would benefit of qualified personnel on a long term. In this field, we are trying to acquire as much experience as possible, in order to provide counseling at the highest standards.

For over 10 years, AHK Romania is the lead actor in the Romanian – German economical relations and actively contributes to their development. Including over 530 members, Romanian and German companies, AHK is the greatest bilateral Commerce Chamber in Romania. AHK Romania provides counseling both to German companies willing to invest in Romania and to Romanian companies seeking to develop a business in Germany.

We hope that, for the next 135 years as well, the bilateral relations of Romania and Germany would evolve similarly well, and with similar success.

 

 

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