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September 30, 2022

François Coste, Chairman of the Board of the French Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Romania (CCIFER): In a francophone and francophile country like Romania, French companies found themselves since the beginning in a relationship of openness and trust

Why is Romania a land of investments?

The second-largest market in Central and Eastern Europe, 7th in the European Union, Romania is hosting today one of the largest and most dynamic French business communities in the region. With around 3,000 French companies established here, with majority French capital, France, with an FDI stock of 4.2 billion euros, is the 4th largest investor in Romania.

In a francophone and francophile country like Romania, French companies found themselves since the beginning in a relationship of openness and trust. The tradition in several industrial jobs and the competitiveness of certain sectors such as industry, IT and services, are positive signals that attract French SMEs looking for their first international market.

Romania offers one of the most advanced broadband telecom infrastructures in Europe and a university system that graduates each year more than 7,000 specialists in technical fields. Currently representing about 4% of GDP, new technologies are expected to reach almost 10% in the coming years. Foreign investors are very active in this sector, French companies have recently positioned themselves there – we have around 100 French players in this sector. Major French investors support innovation, actively contributing to the emergence and support of Romanian start-ups, whether in services, energy or sustainable development.

Romania also attracted many entrepreneurs who invested their personal resources and decided to establish their business here. They bring with them a culture of entrepreneurship, their experience and new dynamics. These dynamics reflect the evolution of the local economy.

Doing business in Romania is easy for the French. There is geographical (2h50 by plane from Paris), linguistic (Romanian is a Latin language) and cultural (links with France are very old) proximity. The Romanians are globally multilingual and multicultural, resolutely open. A Latin people, oral interaction and relationships hold an important place in their culture. Otherwise, it is an international business culture, since many French companies are already based in Romania. French allows us to have more loyal employees, linked to a corporate culture and not just a career opportunity, and ready for international mobility especially in France. At CCIFER, we wish to contribute to strengthening the French-language teaching sectors – there are more than 100 in Romania – to enable our companies to recruit Francophone talents in all sectors.

CCIFER – the liaison for French investors in Romania

CCIFER is a platform for networking and creating opportunities. Founded 23 years ago, the French Chamber of Commerce in Romania (CCIFER) brings together a community of large companies often in a leading position in their sector, dynamic SMEs, associations and professionals who contribute significantly to the Romanian economy: 17 billion euro cumulated turnover and 125,000 direct jobs. All sectors are represented, from industry, through aeronautics, to automotive or new technologies, but also agriculture and agri-tech, health, retail and services. French investors have found in Romania a relaunch of growth in an emerging market within the EU, as well as a relay for their global competitiveness by producing some of their added value by relying on talent and affordable costs.

CCIFER’s missions – Create new opportunities for its members, support business development through value-added services and represent the voice of member companies in the public dialogue. Among the value-added services, we can mention our support for 50 companies from France in looking for opportunities in Romania and an Executive Management Programme (ExMP) with ESCP Europe for 6 years already.

The French economic presence in Romania is heavy in all sectors of activity: 36 CAC40 companies are present in Romania in the automotive, banking & insurance, telecoms, IT, distribution, the pharmaceutical industry and energy.

France, with an FDI stock of 4.2 billion euro, is the 4th largest investor in Romania, after the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.

Reactivity, expertise and commitment are the guiding principles for the 15 permanent members of the French CCI team in Romania to offer the best business support to member companies: over the last 10 years we have accompanied more than 1,000 projects for companies who are looking for Romanian customers, distributors, suppliers or partners. By relying on our network of members, we offer French companies field information, sector know-how and technical expertise to sell or create a structure in Romania. Our Business Centre has hosted more than 40 business projects that have found a turnkey structure to install a sales representative or country manager, benefiting from the proximity of our team and the support of our members.

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