Business in Romania blog
The business in Romania blog writes about the Romanian business landscape, doing business in Romania, investing in Romania business and debating on business issues in Romania. Check this Blog's Policy here.



Monday, February 27, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Here comes the new leader in the Romanian pate market :)

Scandia Romana, producer of Sibiu and Bucegi pate brands posted a 76 percent increase in the turnover for 2005, up to some 38 million EUR, Bursa reports.

The increased turnover has strengthened the company's leading position of the pate market, with a share of 56 percent. According to the company's management the most important increases were posted for Pate Sibiu, Pate Bucegi, Pate Poiana and Pate Sadu brands.

Way to go !

Posted by Mihai Botea : 2/27/2006 12:00:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Even though Romanians seem to aim mostly for internationally recognized fashion brands, it seems we can put up a fashion show of our own. Over February 23-26, Bucharest International Fair Romexpo Exhibition Centre will be venue to the 1st spring edition of the international exhibition of textiles, ready-made clothes, leather goods, furs, footwear, leatherwear and others...

Over 100 companies have announced their participation so far, coming from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Pakistan (Pakistan fashion ?!?), Romania, Turkey, and UK.

It seems this spring is full of fashion show in Romania, after some recent fairs presenting wedding dresses, where I heard about some of the most "inspired" colors for the bride's clothing...yellow, pink (!!), blue, turquoise and other colors I cannot quite recall. Is white obsolete nowadays?

Posted by Mihai Botea : 2/26/2006 11:55:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Business in Romania blog
The FDI level boosted 26.8 percent in 2005 compared with the previous year, 5.19 billion euros, according to data of the National Bank of Romania (BNR).

The Romanian Agency for Foreign Investments (ARIS) believes that the FDI volume attracted by Romania in 2005 represented a record, even if the privatization of the Romanian Commercial Bank will be cashed in this year.

The government sold 61.88 percent of the bank to Austrian Erste Bank for 3.75 billion euros.

Last year, the total foreign direct investments amounted to 5.18 billion euros, but the 0.3% difference is irrelevant since the data for 2005 is provisional, according to ARIS.

The draft data for 2004 reveals a total FDI of 4.098 billion euros.

The structure of foreign investments in Romania will considerably change in the years to follow as the state capital still to be privatized is running low

Greenfield investments will have an increasingly more important share in the structure of foreign direct investments as the rate of privatizations slows down.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 2/22/2006 02:10:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Shahmir Khaliq is the new Citigroup Country Officer for Romania.

He succeeded Witold Zielinski, who returned to Poland as Chief Operations Officer of Bank Handlowy.

Shahmir Khaliq first joined Citigroup in 1991, and has held various senior positions within the Corporate and Investment Bank. In 2000, Shahmir was appointed to the management committee for Citigroup Pakistan.
Shahmir holds degrees in economics and finance from the London School of Economics and the London Business School, as well as an MBA from the University of Karachi.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 2/22/2006 02:03:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Monday, February 13, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Too bad that, after the great victory of Pavel in front of Roddick, we still lost in the end, 4 to 1.

In short, the games were like this:

Pavel vs Roddick - 6-7, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4
Blake vs Hanescu - 6-4, 7-6, 6-2
Blake vs Tecau - 6-1, 7-5
Roddick vs Sabau - 6-3, 6-3, 6-2

USA vs Romania (doubles) - Romania retired due to Hanescu's injury.

Too bad, but this is what it's like when competing with no. 1.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 2/13/2006 10:31:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Amazon.com has begun recruiting for its software development lab, due to open in Bucharest.
Real estate sources say that the company rented, at the end of last year, two floors of an office building near Piata Universitatii. The number of employees may reach 600 specialists, sources on the market say.

The company is seeking to fill positions such as software development engineer, database architect, quality assurance engineer and office manager. It opened a similar center in November 2005 in Iasi, and announced an interest in establishing a second in Bucharest, but without giving a date. This would be Amazon’s sixth R&D center located outside the USA, adding to those in Scotland, South Africa and India.

The operator of the largest on-line shopping portal was established by Jeff Bezos in a garage in the USA in 1994 and has since grown to become a EUR 5 billion plus business. Over the years, Amazon has expanded its fields of activity, beginning by selling CDs and DVDs, and then electronics, toys and consumer goods. It posted revenues of about $7 billion in 2005.


Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 2/01/2006 10:42:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Romania needs to register economic growth rates of 7% per year over the next 25 to 30 years to reach the development level of the European Union, stated the Deputy Director of Human Resources Department in the Ministry of Economy and Trade Constantin Parascho.

Romania needs to register annual rates of economic growth of 7 percent over the next 25 – 30 years to reach the level of Europen Union regarding development, as long as EU member states will reach development rates of 2 percent/year, said the MEC representative.

The top of economic growth is taken by China with 8-9 percent, followed by India, 6 – 7 percent, Russia and Brazil 5–6 percent.

The United States by 3 percent, and the EU an average of 2 percent, while the global economy has grown by 3.6 percent in 2005.

In Romania, the economic growth for 2005 was 4,2- 4,5 percent of GDP, over half of the level reached in 2004, when the economic growth was 8, 3, according to the preliminary data presented by the State Minister Gheorghe Pogea.

He showed that the growth rhythm of GDP was below the estimations made by the authorities, of 5,5-5,7 percent, the main cause being the unfavourable weather which prevented the achievement of infrastructure projects.

The National Statistics Institute announced for the first nine months of last year a rhythm of economic growh of 3,6 percent, as compared to 4,9 percent after the first quarter and over eight percent for the January-September period in 2004.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 2/01/2006 10:39:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Monday, January 30, 2006
Business in Romania blog
The producer of the Julius Meinl coffee brand is preparing to develop a network of coffee shops in a franchise system.

Austrian group Julius Meinl Industrie Holding GMBH, the producer of Julius Meinl coffee brand, last autumn acquired Novo SRL, a company headquartered in Targu Secuiesc, Covasna county.

There are already several Julius Meinl coffee shops in Bucharest, but, according to Dobri, these are not franchises, as they are only using the firm's brand. Julius Meinl Romania also targets an expanded distribution area and higher visibility at the seaside this year.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 1/30/2006 10:25:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
A BusinessWeek article writes about women in Business, with several references to the Romanian business landscape in this matter.

As it seems, the writer met with Ms. Anca Vlad, the most successful Romanian businesswoman, the one who created and is currently running the Fildas Group.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/30/2006 09:59:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Daniel Daianu points out some trends to look for in the Romanian economy in 2006. As it seems to me, the article is not writen on a very optimistic mood, but on a more worried one. Might be good, but still I think he should have also pointed out some consideral progress made in the business sector.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/24/2006 11:30:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Another Austrian investment comes to in Romania, as semiconductor company Infineon Technologies has opened a new development centre in the Romanian capital, Bucharest. Initially the centre will house 60 developers who will concentrate on security controllers for chip cards as well as power semiconductors with analogue and digital functions for use in automotive and industrial applications.

The activities in Bucharest are being managed by Infineon Technologies Romania SRL, which was founded in April 2005 as a subsidiary of Infineon Technologies Austria AG. Chip design, software development, and verification of these products represent the main focal points of the development efforts in Bucharest.

Infineon is also working with the University Politehnica of Bucharest to develop master-level programs, as they are planning for about 60 additional developers to be hired in Bucharest during the course of this year.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/22/2006 10:04:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Even though they have been defeated in the race for BCR (Romanian Commercial Bank), Banco Comercial Portugues (BCP) may launch a bank from scratch in Romania.

Still, BCP's interest in Romania does not look towards the comming Romania savings bank, CEC. BCP's chairman quoted it as being "out of the question".

In my opinion, one of the reasons for BCP's interest in Romania might be the powerfully emerging real-estate market, as BCP is comming with a very good experience from the Portugese market.

In Romania, there are about 1.5 new houses per 1000 inhabitants, while in Portugal the figure is much higher, about 10.5 new houses/1000 inhabitants. So, comming from such a strong real estate market, I would not be surprised for BCP to offer highly competitive real-estate financing options in Romania.

We'll have to wait and see.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/21/2006 09:11:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Business in Romania blog
I have recently launched a new personal project which is very dear to my heart - The Music Blog.

It's a blog about music, about what me and some friends like and dislike and why, news about various musical issues and, basically, lot of things that relate to music.

If you are interested, go check it out at www.musicblog.ro. Looking forward for your opinions on it !

P.S. Still working on some design improvements, so the version you will see might not be the final one. Also, please give your suggestions on this matter.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/15/2006 10:59:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Friday, January 13, 2006
Business in Romania blog
The average price of a mobile phone will lower this year by approximately 9%, according to a study issued by the market research company iSuppli, quoted by Reuters.

The mobile phones will have an average price of 126 dollars comparing with the 142 dollars reported for 2005.

The number of mobile phones that will be produced this year is expected to be 850 million units.

iSuppli estimates that the reduction of prices in this sector will decrease in 2007.

However, due to many new phones containing USB ports to allow direct connections to PCs for music downloading, music services from the wireless service providers are often bypassed.
Further, new phones incorporating Wi-Fi capability are able to link to the Internet and place Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls at little or no cost -- again bypassing voice services offered by the wireless carriers. Some mobile-phone brands even incorporate Skype Technologies S.A.’s popular VoIP software to enable this capability.
As the number of phones with these features increases, this problem will grow in magnitude, iSuppli predicts.

By 2008, USB ports are expected in 73 percent of all new-model mobile phones, up from 30 percent in 2004, while music playback capability -- including MP3 -- is expected in 54 percent of new-model wireless handsets in 2008, up from 20 percent in 2004.

Slots for removable flash-memory cards, which can be used to store and transfer music files are predicted to reach a 43 percent penetration rate of new phones by 2008, up from 16 percent in 2004.
Finally, 14 percent of new-model phones in 2008 are estimated to contain Wi-Fi links, up from less than 1 percent in 2004.

To avoid working against each other, service providers and their mobile-phone suppliers must carefully orchestrate the combination of handset features and services offered to subscribers, iSuppli believes.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 1/13/2006 10:11:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Business in Romania blog
As Mihai said, Fortune published the top 100 companies to work for in 2006 in the US of A.

I have a big question mark above my head seeing that Google is not there. With their famous 20% "work-for-your-own-projects" time concept? Still, Microsoft, where they throw chairs at those who leave for Google, is on 42nd place.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/10/2006 05:21:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Recently, Blogger introduced a "word verification box" at the end of the posting window for each post you enter on your blogspot blog. This is a typical (and a very annoying, in my opinion) way of fighting against spam.

What I hate about it is that it doesn't attack spammers, but it just puts another wall through they have to go through, while in the same time making our efforts of publishing / sending e-mails / commenting more difficult. And I specially hate it when the letters / numbers in the word verification picture are so hard to understand that you are very prone to making a mistake (some invented the "i cannot understand this, please give me another try with a new picture" box :)) ).

What is nice about it (and thanks to the smart minds and Blogger / Google for this) is that you can remove it, by sending a request in this matter so they can verify that your blog is not a spam one. I just did that, I hope they will answer fast enough. :)

P.S. To disable it, just click on the "? in a yellow circle" icon near "Word verification" on the bottom of your posting window on Blogger.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/05/2006 10:34:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
It has been writen that the mass SMS trend in Romania got even more popular at the end of 2005, when about 81 million SMS-es were sent through the 2 most popular mobile phone operators, Connex-Vodafone and Orange. This brought them earnings of about EUR 5 million.

According to the calculations, each of the Connex-Vodafone subscribers sent about 10 SMS-es.

Now, I am getting sooo fed-up with receiving spam / mass SMS-es on Christmas, New Years Eve and other holidays. The thing which, to me, is most annoying is the lack of personalization in the messages. I know people who sent to half of their contacts list the same standard message. Come on, those people receive so many messages that they can't even keep track of who sent and who didn't.

What's even more interesting is that there are people who really appreciate those messages. As a friend told me these days, "that guy didn't even sent me a Happy New Year message". What, would you have wanted him to send you the same standard message that he will send to 10 other girls?

Again, source of the data is here (only in Romanian for now).

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/05/2006 10:26:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Business in Romania blog
Well, it seems the end of 2005 and the start of 2006 brings back among us (we as bloggers) the great almighty Miiiiihaaaaaaai Seceleanu !! :)

A very dear friend, a very good professional and really a nice person to have around in numerous ocassions. Yes, iBlog is back and the new posts are really interesting.

Way to go, Mihai, and I hope this time you're in it for good !

P.S. The blog is in Romanian.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 1/04/2006 04:46:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Business in Romania blog
So, back from the (short) Christmas Vacation in Maramures. First time visiting this region and I must say I am deeply impressed by what I found there: amazing landscapes, great people, great food and a very nice atmosphere alltogether.

In order to get a better picture of how it looks like, here are some Maramures landscape pictures (sorry for the poor quality, some of them were made from the car...): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 12/28/2005 09:54:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog


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I usually listen to THIS kind of music.