International Trade

Romania – Open For Business!

May, 2020

By: Marian Iaon

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Positioned at the crossroads of three key markets – the European Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Middle East, Romania is being appreciated both by private and institutional international investors as a safe and attractive trading location.

With a recognised geo-strategic location, the Romanian Port of Constanta is the largest and deepest Port in the Black Sea and as an entry point to EU for routes from New Zealand, it offers a 6-day time saving for freight compared to the traditional Northern Europe routes.

Romania has modern secondary and tertiary education systems continuing a tradition dating back centuries (the first recorded college with a 5-year programme, “Schola Latina”, was founded in the Moldavia region in 1563).

Highly-trained, environmentally committed, multi-lingual University graduates continue to emerge from Romania to meet the palette of booming new industries. A focus on getting the job done in more efficient ways and using resources more productively, has helped Romania record the highest “GDP per hour” rate ($140/hr) of any OECD country for 7 years in a row (by comparison New Zealand sits at around $108/h and Australia $109/hr, source

This new generation of professionals is one of the motivational factors for large international companies looking to Romania as a preferred destination for capital investments – including relocation of production facilities. The Romanian state aid scheme and the competitive taxation framework, featuring one of the lowest GST and income tax levels in the EU combined with tax exemptions on reinvested profit. This makes the business environment very attractive for foreign companies.

The availability and price of utilities also contributes to maintaining a positive business climate – the cost of natural gas is 4th lowest in the EU and electricity is 5th lowest.

With an average internet speed of 38.5 Mbs (5th fastest in the world), based on a modern infrastructure, there are many opportunities for outsourcing IT service and software companies in Romania. The research and development centres have also taken advantage of the new, ultra-fast communication portals linking the academic world to the industry.

Already famous as the home of the “impossible 10” in gymnastics, Romania is now also home of the most powerful laser in the world. Part of the Extreme Light Infrastructure Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) project, the laser was built in a state-of-the-art facility carrying out research as part of the Nuclear Physics Long Range Plan of the European Science Foundation.

“With ELI-NP we are now standing on the threshold of a Renaissance in the Nuclear Physics field, in which protons may also be used to directly manipulate, excite and even transmute nuclear structure as well as provide new ways to sort out and treat nuclear waste, to secure our environment.” Said Prof. Gerard Mourou, 2018 Nobel Prize winner in Physics and member of the Advisory Board of the project.

For New Zealand businesses looking to expand in the EU, either through green-field investments, joint-ventures or trading with Romanian partners, the Romanian market is not yet oversaturated and kiwis have an excellent reputation in Romania (they love rugby too!).

The friendly business environment creates a solid ground and a cost-effective market entry for agriculture, automotive, furniture, metal works and FMCG, but also infrastructure, energy, real estate and IT&C – these are just a few areas that offer investment and business opportunities in Romania.

In the context of the FTA it is notable that the first phase of the largest logistics hub and industrial park at the Black Sea – the 1 million sqm Constanta Business Park, will become operational in Port of Constanta in September 2020.

For more details or if you want to explore opportunities in Romania for your business please contact Marian Ioan.

Marian Ioan is the Honorary Consul of Romania in New Zealand and New Zealand Manager for Baltimore Aircoil Australia
E-mail: Romania is a member of New Zealand Europe Business council

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