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Last updated : Nov 2009
Romania Business
Romania Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Economy

Romania is a major producer of maize and wheat, and grows fruit, vegetables, sugar beet and vegetable oil seeds; wine-making is still widespread and numerous farms also breed livestock. Communist-era economic guidelines favoured heavy industry and the agricultural sector has since found it hard to catch up with European standards. Most land has now been transferred to private ownership. The previously neglected fishing and forestry industries are being developed under long-term programmes. On the whole, the contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP has dropped from about 33 per cent in 1990 to its present level of 14.8 per cent.

Post-communist industry has undergone a similar reduction, and now accounts for 28 per cent of GDP (down from nearly 60 per cent in 1990). Romanian industry produces industrial and transport equipment, furniture, metals, chemical products and manufactured consumer goods, but the most important sector is oil, natural gas and oil-derived products (petrochemicals, paints and varnishes). The mining industry produces bauxite, copper, coal, lead, iron ore and zinc.

The Romanian economy was crippled under the Ceaucescu regime, not least by its leader’s obsession with paying off the whole of the country’s national debt (something rarely considered, let alone attempted, by most governments). Since the 1989 revolution, succeeding governments have concentrated on turning Romania into a market economy. Progress has been tricky, hindered by the economy’s already weak condition and political flux. In the early- and mid-1990s, Romania came close to economic meltdown as the economy contracted by an average of 7 per cent annually and inflation often reached 100 per cent. The situation has improved since 2000, when Romania registered optimistic growth. GDP is now increasing at an annual rate of 5 per cent; inflation is 22 per cent and official unemployment has fallen to 8 per cent (although there is a large informal economy). World Bank and IMF support have been forthcoming under the usual conditions. Romania has also had access to loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to which it belongs as a ‘country of operation’. The Romanians’ ultimate goal is membership of the European Union, with whom it conducts over 60 per cent of its trade (Italy and Germany are the largest individual trade partners). The country at first hoped to join along with the 10 other countries that joined in May 2004. Unfortunately, it was incapable to meet the accession criteria in time and now hopes to join, along with neighbouring Bulgaria, in 2007.

Business

A suit is necessary at all business meetings and only on very hot days are shirtsleeves acceptable. English, French and German are used in business circles. Appointments are unavoidable and punctuality expected. Business cards are widely used.

Office hours: Monday-Friday 0700-1530.

Commercial Information

The following organisation can offer advice:

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania and Bucharest, Bulevardul Octavian Goga 2, Sector 3, 74244 Bucharest

Telephone: (1) 322 9535
Fax: (1) 322 9542
E-mail: ccir@ccir.ro

Conferences/Conventions

For information, contact the Romanian Convention Bureau, Calea Victoriei 118, 4th Floor, Suite 407, Sector 1, 70179 Bucharest (tel: (21) 314 4100/4102; fax: (21) 314 4101; e-mail: office@conventionbureau.ro).
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