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Taking the strategic route to opportunity in Romania

Iulia Lascau is Managing Partner of Euroglobal Audit & Advisory SRL, based in Bucharest, Romania and which is a member of BKR International. Working for foreign and local investors, Iulia and her team help to grow and develop businesses in Romania. Iulia explains what makes Romania such an attractive place for UK firms to do business.

“Romania has a strategic location at the crossroads of three important markets: the European Union, the CIS states and the Middle East. But with a population of around 19 million and a growing middle and upper class, its domestic market is also significant.

“In fact, Romania offers real opportunities for any UK businesses with products, services, or technologies, that are able to contribute to the country’s development.

“The World Bank ranks Romania in 26th place for ease of doing business, and Bucharest, the capital, is one of the largest financial and industrial centres in Eastern Europe. The country has 14 international airports and eight major ports. It also boasts more than 10 million hectares of agricultural land and a variety of energy sources.

“I recommend thinking strategically about Romania as both a market and a gateway to other markets, especially in a post-Brexit world.

“The Romanian economy is mainly export-driven, serving regional and global markets in manufacturing, financial services, trading, real estate, technical activities and high-end software development. But it also boasts plenty of opportunities in the tourism industry, with locations including the Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta region ­– a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and natural paradise.

“Naturally, when contemplating entering in a new market, it’s vitally important to find a good and reliable partner. It pays to research and analyse your prospects carefully, and carry out appropriate business, financial, tax and legal due diligence.

“We always recommend speaking to the Department for International Trade in Romania, British Embassy in Romania, British Romanian Chamber of Commerce, and Ministry for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

“A local business presence can take the form of a subsidiary, the acquisition of an existing company, distributor agreement or a joint venture. Having a flexible business model to adapt to the market will help.

"Unfortunately, Romania's infrastructure does affect its ability to attract foreign investment and business costs. This is probably the biggest challenge a UK business looking to export to Romania needs to overcome. Romania’s connections to the rest of the EU's transportation system are still relatively poorly developed. This is one of reasons the country hasn’t yet realised its full potential for investment, trade and tourism.

“However, based upon the newly reformed Cohesion Policy, there are certain competitive and growing potential sectors where EU funding will be available: energy, forestry and energy efficiency. UK business could also explore the need for improvements to infrastructure, transport, trading and environmental technologies in Romania.”

This article was first published in the March / April 2018 edition of Lancashire Business View magazine.

Cassons, part of the Baldwins group,  are members of BKR International, a leading global association of accounting firms, and work with firms across the globe to assist businesses with international trade.

19 Mar 18
Iulia Lascau, Managing Partner of Euroglobal Audit & Advisory SRL, based in Bucharest, Romania.