Romanians are generally very welcoming of Americans and very favorable towards products and services from the United States. Despite Romania’s challenges, several underlying attributes of its economy allow it to keep positive momentum in terms of economic growth and, ultimately, opportunities for trade. As an EU member state, Romania not only offers a sizable domestic market but also a comparatively low-cost foothold for accessing the entire EU market. The country’s location - bordering the Black Sea in Southeast Europe - provides a view beyond Europe and shortens the distance for export sales to Turkey, the Balkans, the Middle East, Ukraine, and Moldova.
Romania is the country with the highest energy independence in the EU, a particular advantage when considering the war in Ukraine and the need for domestic energy resources. A recent report shows that Romania was 28% dependent on energy imports, compared to the EU average of 57%. In the complicated geopolitical context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Romanian market has seen an increased interest in the defense and security sectors, both in terms of investment and supply to border states. Romania’s investment position has seen a marked improvement in the last two years. The FDI position in-country stood at nearly $12 billion in 2022, up over 225% from 2020. The quality of a highly skilled, affordable workforce is the main attraction for investors. For example, most engineers speak at least one foreign language, increasing their ability to interact with other engineers in the region.
Digitization is now a primary goal of the Romanian government to make life easier for businesses and citizens in their interaction with the state. Government agencies will begin to launch public tenders in late 2023 for migration of government functions and secure local data storage to the sovereign cloud, signaling great opportunity for leading U.S. systems and service providers.
The U.S. Commercial Service Romania recommends the following best prospects for U.S. companies in Romania, each of which is explored in greater detail later in this report:
- Energy (Oil & Gas, Renewables)
- ICT (Information & Communications Technology)