Colin C Lovering ISM, Chairman of The BRCC:
As Chairman of The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce, I am delighted and proud to be part of a truly significant, dynamic and traditionally friendly institution that has literally supported hundreds of organisations and individuals over the past 20 years looking to continually develop and discover trading opportunities between the UK and Romania whilst, at the same time, creating a wonderfully inspiring community of both business connections and deep friendships between our valued members.
As a BRCC member myself I can gladly say that I have personally gained a great deal of benefit and valuable connections through the last few years and I am very grateful that the BRCC team has always dedicated themselves to maintaining and developing the core values of the organization based around our three trustworthy pillars of Ability, Benevolence and Integrity.
Even with the distracting uncertainty of the last 2 years that Brexit has challenged us with, our overriding confidence and engagement with our members and partners from the British Embassy and DiT has ensured that we continue to grow and guide and support towards an extremely bright future for the Romanian and UK business community both here and in the UK.
Finally, I wish to sincerely thank our BRCC board of Directors, our members and partners for the wonderful journey and experience so far and wish everyone great success and prosperity for the years ahead.
Charles Crocker, CEO of The BRCC:
The award-winning BRCC is a non-profit organisation owned and driven entirely by its members.
Established in 1998 as a British registered company limited by guarantee, it has grown steadily and built a reputation that speaks for itself. It is now regarded as one of the top business organisations of its kind.
Taking pride in the fact that it is membership driven, the BRCC devotes all its resources to ensuring that members’ needs are met at all times. In doing so, the Chamber organizes a wide range of activities and services with our representatives in London, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu and Timisoara.
The BRCC’s mission is to:
- Increase British-Romanian business and investments.
- Foster a better understanding between the two nations.
- Encourage bilateral trade and industry, tourism, financial investment and cultural relations.
Today the BRCC is widely regarded as an effective voice not only for its members, but also for the British-Romanian community as a whole.
International awards from The Council of British Chambers of Europe (COBCOE) include
• WINNER COBCOE MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AWARD 2017
• WINNER COBCOE AWARD FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 2011 and 2013
• WINNER COBCOE BRITISH CHAMBER OF THE YEAR 2009
• WINNER COBCOE MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AWARD 2007
About the British Romanian Chamber of Commerce
The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce (“BRCC”) is the premier business-led organisation promoting bilateral trade and investment between the United Kingdom and Romania. Our mission is to facilitate an increase in trade between those two countries through business-to-business dialogue.
The BRCC plays an influential role in creating and sustaining an environment in which free-trade and investment flourishes. Through the facilitation of partnerships, and with an extensive network of influential corporate and individual members, the BRCC provides the resources, knowledge and infrastructure support vital to British companies to make the most of emerging opportunities in Romania, and for Romanian companies to conduct business in the established markets of the UK.
The BRCC provides business development opportunities and supports members with start-up assistance, identifying potential partners. As well as market intelligence and research with general and sector specific information.
The BRCC organises networking opportunities in both Romania and the UK as well as direct exposure to bilateral events in Romania and the UK including conferences, fairs and trade missions.
Some popular examples include
2ND edition of Back 2 Business in 2017, which was the largest International Trade Networking event with 17 International Chambers of Commerce partnering the event and over 700 business leaders attending.
Our annual famous Gala dinner at the House of Lords in London hosted by our Patron Lord Davies of Stamford. This is attended by leaders from the business, political and institutional world with a focus on the bilateral relationship between the UK and Romania.
“Happy Tour is a BRCC member for 4 years and since then we developed a great collaboration. What we appreciated most about BRCC, is that they bring together nice business leads that could also became good friends. We also like that they choose vendors that keeps everyone happy and deliver a beautiful atmosphere at their events.” Andreea Chivu Popescu, Business Development Manager, Happy Tour
“BRCC is the place where we have found a balance between business and friendship. Their friendly, welcoming environment and the BRCC teams’ desire to help us to build new connections, from my point of view, are a big bonus. They knew how to make me wish to be present at all their events and to be more involved in promoting our company through the BRCC. This is an absolute valuable asset to their organization.” Alina Dunuta – Self Trust Academy
“KPMG in Romania has been an active participant in the BRCC for several years. The BRCC provides a valuable forum in which companies with links to the UK and Romania can come together to exchange experiences and work together to promote the growth of business between the two countries. The regular speaker meetings in Bucharest provide a useful source of information on economic and legislative developments, as well as on how the British government views Romania. They also give an opportunity for members to ask questions and express their views. The BRCC also works closely with other investors’ organisations to present the interests and concerns of business to the authorities in a coordinated way. Lastly, the regular social events give the chance for members to network and get to know each other better.” Madalina Racovitan, Partner, People Services, KPMG
BRCC as a Membership organisation has a clear goal to support its members.
We act as facilitators bringing our members and partners together to create new opportunities and building an eco-system where our member organisations can grow profitably.
We create business networking opportunities. No matter how big or small our members businesses or organisations are or what sector or profession they belong to, we believe that business networking can be hugely beneficial, helping them to make the right connections that will help drive their business where they want them to go.
The BRCC gives through many important partner networks, extended access to potential clients and professionals in Romania, the UK, Europe and further afield, including our membership of the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE).
Our members can also access BRCC contacts in the City of London through BRCC City Link and many other professional networks with which the BRCC is affiliated.
Our members also have access to the market research services of the BRCC’s trade team, as well as to BRCC member services.
Key concessions are also available, such as preferential fee arrangements from professional firms, reduced fares on member airlines or special rates on rooms or conference facilities with member hotels.
Through our media relations we also provide comprehensive range of marketing tools, we can help members meet their business objectives. BRCC marketing opportunities include publications, online facilities, advertising, speaking engagements and sponsorship.
We provide an effective voice for business communities which trade between Britain and Romania. On certain occasions we are able to lobby key government officials and representatives on behalf of our members, through collaboration with other chambers, associations and similar bodies. In addition, we provide members the opportunity to meet visiting dignitaries and officials.
We encourage cooperation between various governmental, non-governmental and business owned agencies these include social, cultural and charitable groups that can contribute to an improvement in British Romanian trade and investment as well as to the general well-being of society as a whole.
Our support goes to organisations and initiatives that best reflect the views and support the activities of the British community in Romania and the Romanian community in the UK.
UK – Romania Trade
The British Business Centre (“the Centre”) provides services to BRCC members and other British business entities.
The British Business Centre in Bucharest
Established in 2013 by the BRCC in partnership with British Government and the Department for International Trade (DIT). The Centre is fully accredited by The British Chambers of Commerce and is Part of the Overseas Delivery partnership (ODP) – a UK Government project set up to help British companies do business in overseas markets. We share standards and procedures with DIT and act as a business and market-entry consultancy. The Centre’s clients are British companies interested in doing business in Romania. In the 5 years we have been active, we have assisted 1000’s of British companies looking at Romania as a new and exciting market for their products and services.
The Centre offers market entry strategies, market intelligence reports and advisory services such as: • Identification of suitable partners, clients, suppliers, agents or distributors • Access to BRCC networks and membership • Information about major trade fairs and exhibitions • Advice on local conditions, including competitors, regulation and standards • Organisation of individual visits and trade missions • Industry-specific research and reports on request • Liaising with Government and other regulatory authorities on a wide range of significant issues, relating to trade • Organisation of private receptions, meetings or seminars to present the client’s products or services.
Our team of expert advisors have helped thousands of British exporters sell their goods or services across Romania, a country with one of the fastest growing economies in the EU.
We will continue our mission to deliver high quality export projects for British businesses as part of our aim to help British businesses grow through increasing their exports and encouraging investments abroad!
Considering the central role that the BRCC has in the region, we have also been awarded a regional cooperation project that aims at connecting Central and Eastern Europe with regions in the UK, mainly the Northern Power House and Midlands Engine regions. To this end we are constantly evaluating the business environment in Romania, together with our members so we can be up to date on the competitiveness of our country in the region, as a business destination.
In terms of Trade, we are actively monitoring trends in the types of goods and services that are traded between the two countries. As shown above, we can pick out business insights like the big percentage of textiles that are coming into Romania, from the UK, accounting for around half of UK exports in the whole of the CEE region.
From information supplied by the Romanian Ministry of Business Environment and Entrepreneurship
We know that current balance of trade between Romanian and the UK is with Romanian Exports to the UK at 2.5 Billion EUR and UK exports to Romania at 1.627 Billion EUR therefore with a Romanian balance of 873 Mil. EUR. This represents the highest balance between Romania and its trade partners and the 5th largest partner for export. Please note that these figures are not including exports of services.
The UK ranks 12th in terms of foreign investments.
By working closely with our members from the taxation, regulatory and financial environment we are able to produce a comparative analysis for our partners and help them in any business decision that involves Romania and the wider CEE Region.
BRCC Cluj-Napoca Representative Shajjad Rizvi
Cluj was the 1st place in Romania to set up a branch office outside of Bucharest. BRCC merged with the British Business Group Transylvania in 2016.
Cluj is increasingly moving away from the low cost tech hub to a high tech centre with competitive salaries and a highly skilled work force. As a result Cluj BRCC members and UK investment is mainly centred around the Tech/service sector
The top 4 UK Tech employers in Cluj
- Endava – the largest employer in the Tech sector in Cluj – over 1200 employees
- Betfair / PaddyPower – over 700 employees
- Thompsons Online Benefits – over 300 employees
- STA travel – World’s largest student travel agency – over – 200 employees
Tech jobs have created the Cluj boom – UK investment is creating tech jobs, driving that boom.
UK investment is providing better pay, better conditions, and better quality of life for Cluj people. for example – the best office space in Romania was Betfair/Paddy Powers office in 2017
This summer the UK’s first manufacturing investment in Cluj will open. Teconnex is a World leader in the production of valves, clamps and fastenings for the global aerospace (EuroFighter) and automobile industry. The production unit will employ over 300 persons and represents a significant investment in Cluj Napoca from the UK.
Education is a vital component to international life in Cluj, with soft investments via the two Cambridge accredited international schools, (with a combined student population of over 600) and the Executive MBA program provided by Hull University in partnership with UBB Cluj. Cluj also has a British council branch office, with a library and English language accreditation center.
The Little People Romania based in Cluj, provides support to children being treated for cancer nationwide and has the largest patient reach in the country. Little People is present in all childhood cancer centres in Romania, Bucharest, Iasi, Cluj, Timisoara, Tagu Mures, Craiova. In 2015 Little People set up Youth Cancer Europe, Youth Cancer Europe has become the leading lobbying and advocacy organisation for youth cancer patients in Europe. In 2013 Little People set up the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Romania. The Award program has a nationwide reach in Romanian is considered the world’s leading youth development scheme, with a 60 year track record of excellence. A UK Royal Charity that has a solid partnership with the Romanian Royal family under the patronship of Her Majesty Margarita of Romania.
Cluj has the 2nd largest British community in Romania outside of Bucharest and in 2018 a honorary British consul was appointed to serve the interests of the British Embassy and assist British nationals living and visiting Cluj. The United Kingdom is the most popular international destination from Cluj airport with over 300,000 passengers flying back and forth aone in 2017
Sibiu BRCC Representative Norman Frankel
Whilst the number of UK businesses and investors that are economically active in the Sibiu area is small, those that are present are in the payments (MiPay PLC), telecom (COLT), light engineering (Hidrosib) and agricultural distribution space (Pharma2Farm). There are also local Romanian firms with a growing presence in terms of winning UK customers, these include into the Insurance sector (IT Perspectives) and digital conversion marketing agency (AdLemonade).
Most of the investments that were made took place around the same time that Sibiu was celebrating its City of Culture status and Romania had entered the EU. Since then there has been little in the way of new investment but the city and region remains open to new investments. Surprisingly given Sibiu’s central location, international airport and good road network especially to the West, there has been little in the way of distribution, real-estate and logistics investment from the UK, which would normally have been expected.
Expectations are that with the city looking at Smart projects and taking an active role in blockchain technology, cybersecurity and medical technology there could be a new wave of interest for British firms. Looking at 2019 there is excellent opportunity for the British community to get involved with the Region of Gastronomy project that will run throughout the year.
Where the majority of British efforts do take place are in the cultural / volunteer area. The well known support provided by Prince Charles and Lady Jessica Douglas-Home through the Mihai Eminsecu trust has spurred other initiatives. The Transylvanian Book Festival held annually and now in its 3rd year is run from the UK. The Clear Public Space / Asociatia Un Viitor Fara de Gunoi run by Luke Douglas-Home aims to work with local villages and schools helping Romania to do a better waste management.
Annually volunteers come to Sibiu to help Asociatia Prietenii Mocanitei with railway restoration for the Sibiu Agnita narrow gauge railway. Adopting a teach the teacher approach the skills taught are in restoration. Also annually teams of British doctors and nurses come to Sibiu three to four times to provide skills for children’s heart surgeries. With over 70 lives already saved, this initiative is important as it also involves a train the trainer approach and brings the University, Public and Private hospitals together. This initiative is led by Fundatia Polisano.
Sibiu also has an active social network with the international communities regularly meeting and even has a 200 strong Sibiu-Expats community, comprising of over 25 different nationalities. The local coordinator of the BRCC interests with these groups and the municipality and chamber of commerce is Norman Frankel.