Germany is for Romania a strategic economic partner. The bilateral economic relations continued to increase in 2016, as indicated by the figures published by the National Institute of Statistics, Germany remaining Romania’s number 1 economic partner. The imports from Germany amounted last year 13.8 bn EUR (+10,5%), while the exports amounted 12.3 bn EUR (+14.6%). Totally the trade volume between the two states consisted in 26.1 bn EUR (+12.4%), which means more than 20% of Romania’s foreign trade – growing trend. The most important product groups in the trade between Germany and Romania are, traditionally, machinery and electrical equipment, transport means and materials, common metals. Further dynamic development is expected also to be realized in 2017. In the first six month of 2017 the imports from Germany amounted 7.4 bn EUR, the exports 7.3 bn EUR.
German companies are part of the Romanian economy and make a decisive contribution to gross value added, but also increases competitiveness through the know-how transfer. About 7,500 German companies, with German capital precisely, are active in Romania. Those have an important role as employer and have contributed to creating and securing jobs in Romania in the last years. As taxpayers and employers for more than 250,000 employees, German companies have an important role in social contributions and other contributions to tax authorities.
As an active player in the business community and trustful partner to Romanian ministries and authorities, AHK Romania contributes to the improvement and development of business and investment conditions in Romania, but also in enhancing bilateral trade relations. Amid the lack of qualified personnel, it is important, also from the point of view of the German economy, that the Romanian authorities and policymakers to continue to take all necessary measures for the development of vocational education. Economic development can be ensured on the long run only if it will be invested heavily in education. In our discussions with German investors, the availability of qualified staff is one of the most important criteria in making investment decision. This covers both higher education and vocational education, which are complementary in a functional education system. Policymakers within state institutions should pay particular attention to the following aspect: in the education system must be integrated mechanisms to reconcile the demand of the labor market with the educational offer. This is the only way qualified personnel may form, adapted to the development and needs of the economic field. German companies are strong in this area and have lighthouse projects in different cities. They do not just want to say that it works, but they are also a good example for other companies.
Particular importance is also given by German companies for fighting against corruption and maintaining the rule of law. On many events of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where there are economic issues discussed, members of AHK Romania underlined repeatedly that the predictability, stability, transparency and the rule of law are vital to plan new investments and for economic activities to be carried out successfully.
German interest for Romania is still high. According to the surveys carried out by AHK Romania, the level in the satisfaction regarding siting investment – compared with other countries in Eastern Europe – it’s encouraging, but there are also many challenges faced by German investors that should be considered by the Romanian side in order to further ensure the country’s competitiveness.