Due to favourable geographic position and its 20 million inhabitants, Romania is an important trade market of Southern and Eastern Europe. German companies are provided here great perspectives for their business plans. Among decisive investment factors at European level, there are low costs of labour force and well qualified labour force. Romania is evolving more and more towards being an investment emplacement destined to the fields of research and development. Many German companies have already made major investments in these fields.
Most German investments are in Banat and Transylvania, as well as in the Bucharest area. But German investments may be also found in industrial cities such as Craiova, Iasi, Constanta, Pitesti. You may find here production units opened by international producers, including numerous German companies: Bosch, Continental, Draxlmaier, Premium Aerotec, Schaeffler, to name just a few. The industrial base that is already there in those regions, knowledge of foreign languages, especially German and acknowledged University centres are among the main reasons for German investors to focus on these regions.
The fact that Romania is a member of the European Union and that it has adapted its laws to the EU laws, respectively the fact that Romania now belongs to the community market are highly important things to investors. Especially the combination of productivity, inexpensive labour force and excellent training of personnel represents advantages for German companies interested in making investments in Romania.
There are a few discontentments, and not just by German investors, especially regarding infrastructure and, most of all, road infrastructure. Even if 50 more kilometres of highway have been finished in 2014, it is less than enough, considering the country’s necessity of highways. Romania, with no more than 700 kilometres of highways, is placed on one of the lowest positions in Europe. This fact represents a great disadvantage.
And yet, Romania remains a market of great potential, a country worth investing in, and it still presents great interest to companies. Romania’s economical growth exceeded that of many European states in the last few years and will increase at an even higher rate than the 2.8 per cent it has reached in 2014. And the estimations made by the World Bank indicate an average economical growth of over 3 per cent annually, for the years 2015 – 2017, in Romania’s case.
Overall, the year 2014 may be described as a great year for Romania’s economy, with an increase of the gross domestic product and a massive increase of exports. The increase of GDP was determined mostly by great export activity but also to the impulse of private consumption. Industry and trade have also evolved positively and brought a major contribution to the increase of the GDP, while the field of constructions was left behind.
Romania’s exports have reached in 2014 the value of EUR 52.5 billion (an increase of 5.8 per cent) and imports have reached a total of EUR 58.5 billion (+5.9 per cent). Trade deficit (FOB/CIF) reached EUR 6.04 billion, which is 0.34 billion more compared to 2013. Romania’s most important trade partner has been Germany (for the eighth time in a row). The volume of commercial exchanges between the two countries has increased again (+10.3 per cent), reaching a total value of EUR 21.3 billion.
The most important thing for the positive economical development of the country is that Romania would continue the reforms it has delayed so far. Some of these are the privatisation of state companies, respectively eliminating the inefficiencies that may be found in state companies, the modernisation of administration, continuing the war on corruption and active and coherent economical policies.
Romanian-German economic relations
Germany remains Romania’s most important trade partner and is on the third place in Romania’s foreign investors’ chart. Since Romania joined the EU in 2007, the commercial exchanges between Romania and Germany have increased by over 50 per cent. German imports have reached a total of EUR 11.2 billion in 2014, 8.7 per cent more than in 2013, and exports reached EUR 10.1 billion (+9.8 per cent). Therefore, the increase of exports and imports to and from Germany is higher than the increase of the foreign trade overall. Bilateral relations will continue a positive evolution, commercial exchanges will keep their tendency of increase, and German companies present in Romania continue to expand their capacities. There are approximately 8,000 companies with German capital active in Romania. Besides production industry, there is potential in fields such as GreenTech, environment, energy, food industry and agriculture, as well as in the field of IT. Also, due to wage increases, there are great opportunities for investors in the field of commerce as well.
Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry – The official representation of German economy to Romania
The Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania) is the official representation of German economy and, also, the greatest chamber of bilateral commerce in Romania. AHK Romania belongs, similarly to German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHK), to the world network of German bilateral commerce Chambers, reunited under the Union of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). Founded in 2002, AHK Romania presently includes over 530 member companies and provides its members a great platform for networking, exchange of information and experiences.
By the services it provides and the events it organizes, AHK Romania actively supports German companies at their entrance on the Romanian market and is also a partner to Romanian companies interested in the German market. In Romania, AHK is actively involved in implementing the dual education system based on German pattern and has founded the GreenTech platform Econet Romania, as well as a Permanent Court of Arbitration.
You may find more information on the website of AHK Romania: www.ahkrumaenien.ro.