Sebastian Metz, General Manager of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania): Germany remains the most important economic partner for Romania

Germany has been number 1 trading partner since 2006 for Romania. German-Romanian economic relations have developed very well, especially after Romania joined the EU and ever since, the exchange of goods between the two countries has increased by more than 50%.

In the first half of 2019, the numbers speak for themselves: 23.1% of total exports and 20.2% of total Romanian imports were made with Germany. German imports amounted about 8.6 billion EUR during this period, 2.5% more than in the same period of the previous year, and exports amounted about 8.1 billion EUR (with a growth of 3.3% cs previous year). Overall, the trade volume between the two states amounted about 16.7 billion EUR. The most important product groups in trade between Germany and Romania include machinery and electronic equipment, vehicles and metal products.

In addition, numerous German companies have invested in Romania, building and expanding their production sites. Around 7,500 companies with German capital are currently active in Romania, which means that over 10% of foreign companies are German companies or have a German equity participation. They have more than 226,000 employees, generate more than 27 billion EUR in turnover (around 13% of Romanian GDP) and hold a capital stock of more than 9.7 billion EUR.

Despite this positive development and Romania’s relatively high GDP growth rate (around 4%), expectations of German companies have deteriorated in Romania’s present and future economic situation over the past two years. In addition to the shortage of skilled workers and inadequacies of the infrastructure, there are also the many and sudden legal changes that pose a major challenge for companies. German companies in Romania are particularly dissatisfied with regard to the availability of skilled workers and the lack of anti-corruption measures, but also with the slow modernization of administrative structures and transport infrastructure, as well as the reduction of public investment, e.g. in areas such as infrastructure, education and health due to increased consumption of public expenditure, such as the raise of the wage in the public sector and pension increases.

To ensure that bilateral economic relations continue to develop positively and that Romania remains an attractive investment location, German companies need above all a stable economic environment and predictability, a well-developed infrastructure, a well-functioning educational system and skilled workers.

The AHK Romania, as the official representation of the German economy in Romania, supports active the development of bilateral economic relations and remains a constructive dialogue partner for the government, but also for other public authorities. Topics of particular importance for AHK Romania include the development of vocational training, the development of cities and regions in Romania, the intensification of bilateral cooperation in the field of green technologies and the enhancement of the competitiveness of the Romanian companies.

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