Exporting guide to Romania
The Romanian economy grew by around 3.9% in 2019 with private consumption as the main source of growth and a strengthening industrial sector, which is helping exports.
Gateway to emerging Europe
Romania is part of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, which offers considerable potential for British businesses. The CEE region is easily accessible from the UK and offers a market of over 100 million consumers. There is a widespread use of English as the business language and the country acts as a gateway into the other CEE markets.
Increasingly sophisticated market
Romania is a market of 19.6 million potential consumers, with wage levels that have increased considerably in the last years and increasingly sophisticated tastes. The country has a highly skilled workforce and widespread understanding of foreign languages (especially English).
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Romania have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:
The rail system is in need of upgrading and investment. The average freight rail speed in the country is 13 km per hour. While this presents a challenge for managing supply chains, British companies can benefit from the opportunity to provide rail upgrades. Current development worth £200 million is underway to improve the underground line to Henri Coanda – Otopeni international airport.
Although the government has had a long-term master plan for highways in place, only 596 km of highway have been constructed in Romania since it joined the EU in 2007. The government has prioritised construction for several motorways and express roads. There are opportunities for UK companies to provide consultancy, equipment and innovative road solutions.
The Romanian government plans to invest over €1 billion in the development of ports by 2030. The money will be invested in new storage spaces and new container handling facilities. It will also be used to extend and modernise utilities and develop specialised terminals. There are also opportunities for UK businesses to help Romania attract new flows of goods to make better use of the Rhine-Danube Corridor.
Car production potential
In 2019, car production reached over 490,000 units, up 2.9% from 2018. Further growth in the automotive industry is forecast. This is creating opportunities for British suppliers of industrial automation equipment, electric and electronic systems, car seats, steering wheels, or plastic components.
Electrification of transport
Governmental and EU funds will be available to develop electric transport networks and subsidise the purchase of electric cars. There are also plans to buy hundreds of electric buses. Local companies are adapting to new trends and demand for knowledge and innovative technologies is growing. Their expertise in this area could mean opportunities for UK companies.
Healthcare and Life Sciences
New regional hospitals
Romania is improving its healthcare sector by building 3 new regional hospitals in Iasi, Cluj-Napoca and Craiova. The estimated investment is of €1.2 billion, partly financed through EU funds. The project is in its first stages, with plenty of opportunities for British companies.
Romania has eHealth as a priority objective in its policy. Its major interest is in implementing the patient’s electronic networks and files, data protection and patient’s access to telemedicine services. The Romanian Ministry of Health is looking to establish a National Health Digital Agency. The UK’s extensive experience in digital services make it a good match for this new project.
Nuclear and waste repository construction
The government is strongly in favour of nuclear power. Local government authorities are exploring options to self-finance the building of Reactor 3 in Cernavoda nuclear power plant. There are also opportunities for British business to be part of the construction of the low and intermediate level waste repository project, worth £1.8 billion.
Oil and gas
Romania is Central and Eastern Europe’s largest oil and second largest gas producer (Wook McKenzie report, 2019). Romania works with other Eastern European countries on the BRUA natural gas pipeline, a €500 million project that will create a new export route for future natural gas in the Black Sea.
Romania wants to satisfy more of its energy needs from renewable sources. The country is a fast-growing market for wind energy in the Southeast European region, with installed wind generation capacity rising from 7 megawatts (MW) in 2007 to 1,941 MW in 2018. In April 2019, approximately 60% of generated power had come from renewable resources (www.transelectrica.ro, 2020).
Homeland security and cyber security growth
The Romanian government’s security institutions are well funded from the national budget, and EU funds. This means the country regularly creates projects to enhance Romania’s homeland security and cyber security. The UK is well placed to take advantage of these opportunities
Demand for state-of-the-art technology
UK security products are considered to be world-leading quality and Romania is interested in acquiring the best equipment from UK businesses.
Demand for well known brands
With recent growth in household income, high quality, value-added products are gaining ground in consumer preference. As the trend for brands is increasing, consumers’ appetite for brand engagement is also rising. Awareness of UK brands and their quality is high and opportunities here are numerous.
Romanian offline retailers and online marketplaces are continuously developing their networks and platforms. Areas of opportunity for UK exporters are automation and self-service systems, faster innovative payment methods, enlarging product ranges, launching concept stores and innovative loyalty programs to create a tailored, unique shopping experience.
Rise in e-commerce
Romania has one of the fastest-growing e-commerce industries in South-eastern Europe, with an increasing number of chances for UK products to sell on these platforms. The local big players are expanding their business to international level. eMAG, the developer of the biggest online marketplace in the region, is always adding new countries to its network. Vivre is another relevant Romanian online retailer of home and deco, activating in 9 European markets.