Professor Dr. Sorin Dimitriu, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Bucharest Municipality (CCIB), met H.E. Tamar Samash, Israel’s Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Romania, and Matan Safran, the head of the Israeli Embassy’s Economic and Commercial Department. Dr. Aurel Vainer, Vice President of CCIB, and George Vodislav, Director General of the CCIB, also took part in the meeting.
At the start of the meeting, Professor Dr. Sorin Dimitriu talked about the activity of the CCIB, an internationally-recognised organisation representative for the business environment of the Romanian capital, and also about the CCIB’s foreign relations strategy, according to which Israel is the priority market. In this context, the President of the CCIB pointed out the interest in identifying similar partner institutions and opening an office of representation in this country, doubled by a permanent exhibition, based on a model that was successfully tested on other target-markets.
In what concerns the development of commercial-economic collaboration between the two countries, in Professor Dr. Sorin Dimitriu’s opinion, organising the “Business Opportunities Day” in Bucharest represents an efficient way to identify companies interested in developing businesses with partners from Israel, companies that would take part in an economic mission to Tel Aviv in the second half of this year.
According to the CCIB President, Romanian-Israeli trade is low when compared to the potential of the two economies, however there are business and investment opportunities that can be put to good use by getting the two business communities to better know each other, and stated that the setting up of a Romania-Israel Business Council can prove to be an efficient solution.
Against the backdrop of Romania celebrating 100 years since the Great Union of 1918, and the state of Israel celebrating 70 years since it was founded, CCIB Vice President Dr. Aurel Vainer proposed holding two business forums in Bucharest and Tel Aviv.
H.E. Tamar Samash appreciated the potential of the Romanian market and expressed her country’s interest in developing economic relations and relations of cooperation with Romania. The Israeli ambassador appreciated the CCIB leadership’s propositions and expressed full openness toward cooperation in projects that concern the intensification of trade. In what concerns the Israeli side’s domains of interest, the head of the Israeli embassy’s Economic and Commercial Department mentioned the aerospace sector, security – including cyber-security –, environment protection, and agriculture, emphasising that the CCIB is a strong institution that can be a good partner for the embassy.
In the upcoming period, for the implementation of the projects discussed, the CCIB team will collaborate with the embassy of Israel, the first project on the joint agenda being a “Business Opportunities Day.”
At the end of 2017 (available data), trade between Romania and Israel totalled USD 565 million, up by 2.9 percent year-on-year. The growth was due exclusively to imports from Israel, which grew by 17.2 percent to USD 149 million, while exports – totalling USD 416 million – contracted by 1.4 percent year-on-year. On 31 December 2017, according to National Trade Registry Office data, in Romania there were 7,476 companies with Israeli capital (3.5 percent of the total number of foreign companies in Romania), having an invested capital of EUR 89.6 million, representing 0.15 percent of the total foreign capital invested in our country, which makes Israel the 34th-largest foreign investor in Romania.