Business relations between South Africa and Romania have risen dramatically in the course of the past years. This has been mostly a one-way traffic with substantial South African investment in Romania leading to stronger business ties between the countries and is substantially a result of adventurous South African entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities further afield from Africa and the usual common investment destinations. Whereas Romania was far from the minds of South African business people in the past, the country is becoming better known for the opportunities it offers to foreign entrepreneurs and openness within which to conduct business, as stated by Mr. Martin Slabbert, CEO of Prime Kapital and former CEO of NEPI .
Co-operation between the South African mission in Bucharest and South African business leaders is very strong and the mission’s friendly and capable personnel, under the stewardship of Ambassador Thenjiwe Ethel Mtintso, is very supportive when it comes to the provision of assistance such as the issue of visas to Romanians wishing to travel to South Africa on business, often on short notice, Mr. Slabbert added.
South African investment in Romania:
South African direct investment in Romania includes amongst others, the South African Company New Europe Property Investments (NEPI), regarded as the most active real estate investor on the local market. It is currently ranked amongst the 10 largest foreign investors in Romania by having property of more than 200 000 m². The net asset value (NAV) was close to EUR 1.5 billion on 31 December 2015, while NEPI’s market capitalisation is 2.62 billion EUR (as of 10 February 2015).
Mr. Martin Slabbert and Mr Victor Semiononv, the founders and former managers of South-African investment fund NEPI, have launched a new real estate investment and development company, Prime Kapital, which will focus on real estate projects in Central and Eastern Europe. Prime Kapital has already raised EUR 260 million from private investors and aims to make EUR 500 million investments in the medium term.
Other major South African companies operating in Romania are:
- eMag (online retailer and e-payment service provider) controlled by South African e-commerce and media group Naspers
- PayU Romania, acquired by Naspers,
- a car battery company, ROMBAT, which was taken over by Metair group at the beginning of 2012,
- furniture retailer Kika, taken over by South African Steinhoff Group,
- Blue projects
- Wild Olive, a cosmetic company
- Cochrane Physical Perimeter Security Defence
Trade between South Africa and Romania is in Romania’s favour, although 11% growth was recorded in South African exports to Romania in 2015:
- SA export to Romania 2014 – 33 966 200 Euro
2015 – 37 751 300 Euro
- SA imports from Romania 2014 – 184 165 800 Euro
2015 – 187 224 900 Euro
Romania’s export/ import statistics to and from South Africa 2014, 2015
|184.16 million Euro||33.97 million Euro||187.22million Euro||37.75 million Euro|
|Growth % (2014-2015)