Over the past decades, the cooperation between Austria and Romania evolved into a solid partnership and Austria continues to be a reliable trading partner for companies in the Romanian economic environment.
‘The Austrian investors see Romania as an excellent investment destination and the largest market in the South Eastern Europe. Currently, our top priorities lie in the development of a healthy business climate and a comprehensive educational system. For us, Romania represents a resourceful country, dominated by a highly skilled labour force and a nation that knows how to make itself heard’, says Gerd Bommer, the Austrian Embassy Commercial Counsellor. According to the country’s official trade promotion organisation, Austria is a constant investor and one of the most active in Romania, with a direct investment value amounting to nearly EUR 9 billion in 2016, which makes a share of over 14% of all the foreign investments in the country.
Up to this moment, there are approximately 1.500 active Austrian investors in Romania and over 7.200 companies with Austrian capital that contribute to the development of the Romanian economy. The companies are market leaders in sectors such as mineral oil, banks, insurances, transport, real estate just to name a few and lead to the creation of more than 100.000 direct employees in Romania.
Regarding the exports and imports, Romania is a top 15 exports and 19 import markets for Austria. For example, the Austrian exports to Romania account for EUR 2.08 billion and following an ever increasing trend. If in 2015 the Austrian exports to Romania increased by 6.0%, in 2016 the numbers rose by 4.1%.
Advantage Austria Bucharest brought its contribution by promoting the dual education among the Romanian authorities. One of its distinctive features consists in the extensive co-operation between the business community and the educational institutions, combining the theoretical and practical teaching for the careers that require apprentice training as well as in higher vocational schools. For example, The Austrian Commercial School in Romania (o’SCAR) introduced to Romania the dual-track education classes at the ‘Costin C. Kiritescu’ Economic College in Bucharest. The program lasts three years and offers to middle school graduates in-depth training courses for the profession of storekeeper-salesman in multiple domains (footwear, fashion, sport, furniture), by completing their fieldwork at renowned brands like C&A, Carrefour, Deichmann, Hervis, Humanic, kika, PEEK & CLOPPENBURG, Telekom.
Moreover, The Austrian Technical School from Romania – Tansilvania (STAR-T), together with “Aurel Vlaicu” Technological High School from Cluj-Napoca organised three years courses with focus on practice addressed to 8th graders graduates who want to start a career as welders. The partners involved in the project are Deltamed, Polytechnik – Sieta S.A and GEP (GLOBAL ENERGY PRODUCTS).
At the moment, Advantage Austria is conducting discussions with the Romanian authorities and schools in order develop programs based on a 4-year-strategy for those who want to become specialists in sales, mechanics, mechatronics, auto mechanics and other related fields.
Due to the fruitful collaboration over the last decade, on May 6, The Commercial Section of The Austrian Embassy in Bucharest hosted the Romanian-Austrian community to celebrate together The Traditional May Festivity of the Austrian Economy. The over 400 expected guests were welcomed by The Commercial Counsellor of The Austrian Embassy, Mr. Gerd Bommer together with his team. Along the years, the event became a landmark and a meeting point for the Austrian business community and local partners.