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.



Thursday, July 28, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Romania's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to grow by 8.3 percent year on year, and projected according to estimates of the National Commission for Economic Projections (CNP), "ACT Media News Agency" reports.

Industrial output is expected to advance 5.7 percent year on year in 2005, while agriculture output is projected to grow 2.8 percent.
Final consumption is also expected to increase by 7 percent overall - individual consumption by 7.4 percent and collective consumption by 1.4 percent. Domestic demand is expected to go up 7.7 percent.

According to CNP projections, goods exports will stand at 21.9 billion euros (a 15-percent annual growth), while CIF imports are expected to touch $30.9 billion ( a 17.9 percent year-on-year rise) and FOB imports will go up 17.9 percent to $28.6 billion.

Exports should go up to 32.2 billion euros and imports should reach 43.99 billion euros in CIF prices in 2008, according to the same projections.
Consumer price index should increase by 8.1 percent on the average in 2005, by 6 percent in 2006, by 4.4 percent in 2007 and by 3.5 percent in 2008.

The employment base is also expected to further by 1.3 percent in 2005 to 4.7 million and reach 4.832 million in 2008. Average gross wages are projected at 13.032 million old lei in 2008, and estimated to stand at 9.473 million in 2005. Unemployment should stay at 6.1 percent in 2005 and decline to 5.7 percent in 2008.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/28/2005 10:23:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Business in Romania blog
There have been many discussions about who is going to buy ASTRAL, the Romanian calbe TV company. Finally, it's been decided.

The buyyer is Englewood-based Liberty Global - one of the largest owners and operators of broadband communications outside the United States with ownership interests in companies with more than 14 million customers in 17 countries and potentially 25 million homes served.

It seems Liberty Global payed about USD 404 million for ASTRAL.

Astral currently serves approximately 890,000 video, voice and data units in Romania. Liberty Global already serves more than 360,000 units in the country through UPC Romania.

The transaction, which is subject to approval by Romanian regulators, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/23/2005 02:10:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Business in Romania blog
There are only 29 days left for Stufstock, the largest (and best) festival of rock & folk music in Romania.

The Stufstock festival will take place this year between 19 and 20th of August, 2005.

Some of the main bands that will perform live, on the stages in Vama Veche, are: E.M.I.L., Zdob si Zdub, KUMM, OCS, Vita de Vie, Travka, Implant Pentru Refuz, Vama Veche, Luna Amara, Urma, Altar, Ada Milea, Tapinarii, Florin Chilian, Nightlosers, Zebre and many more.

More details about Stufstock on www.stufstock.com.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/20/2005 05:57:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Business in Romania blog
A useful tool in order to find out the market statistics for the Romanian salaries is the www.salariu.ro website.

The website, powered by NEOGEN, tells you the average salaries for a number of indutries in Romania, depending on the city and years of expertise.

The website is very simple, yet the information can be very powerful. Still, it seems to me the figures are a little too low.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/19/2005 04:20:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Business in Romania blog
British American Tobacco plans to close its last two factories in Britain and Ireland, with the loss of around 600 jobs, as it looks to switch cigarette production to Asia and continental Europe.

The world's second-largest cigarette group, which makes Lucky Strike, Kent, Dunhill and Pall Mall brands worldwide, said on Wednesday it was seeking to close its Southampton factory within 18 to 24 months, with the loss of around 530 jobs.

The restructuring will cost around 160 million pounds said BAT, most of that charged to 2005, but would save 40 million pounds a year thereafter .The remaining Southampton production will probably switch to Romania, Switzerland and Poland.

Thanks to Cristi for the tip.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/16/2005 06:50:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Friday, July 15, 2005
Business in Romania blog
The Enterprise Investors (EI) and Intel Capital investment funds, both members of the Intel Corporation, recently became shareholders in SIVECO Romania software company, after an investment of USD 12 milion.

It is estimated that these investment is valued at about 32% of the SIVECO Romania capital, with EI buying about 22% and Intel Capital buying about 10%.

SIVECO is one of the larget software companies in Romania, and it is expected that this investment will raise their development of software for the internal and international markets.

SIVECO Romania was founded in 1992 and has an income of about USD 30 milion for 2004. SIVECO currently employs about 400 people.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/15/2005 12:40:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
The only Romanian air operator that practices law tariffs, the Blue Air Company, will launch starting with the next week a new flight.

The new destination is Rome (Ciampino) and back, this being the first daily flight in the company's schedule, according to a company statement.

The company launched in May a Bucharest-Dusseldorf flight for which a roundtrip ticket costs 64 euros, including fees. Planes for Dusseldorf will take off from the Baneasa Airport.

This is the only Romanian flight to Dusseldorf and takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/15/2005 09:48:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Business in Romania blog
BCR is the only Romanian bank to be featured in the International Top 1000 World Banks, published by The Banker, one of the most apreciated publications in the banking area.

BCR (Romanian Commercial Bank) is placed on 332nd place, 40 places up from last year's standings.

You can find more about the standings in Top 1000 World Banks here. Also, more articles on Romania, published by the World Bank are here.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/13/2005 05:38:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Romania on 49th place in GDP worldwideRomania is 49th among countries with the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) realized in 2004, ahead of Bulgaria at No. 67 but after Hungary at 41, according to a study by the World Bank.

According to the report, Romania registered a GDP of 73.16 billion dollars while Bulgaria registered 24.13 billion dollars and Hungary 99.71 billion dollars.

Before Romania are countries like Turkey - 301 billion dollars, Poland - 241 billion dollars, Israel - 117.5 billion dollars and the Czech Republic with 107 billion dollars.

After Romania are countries like Ukraine - 65 billion dollars, Slovakia - 41 billion dollars and Slovenia - 32 billion dollars.

According to the World Bank, the first seven positions are occupied by the same states as last year.

The United States of America remained the main world economic power with a GDP of 11,667 billion dollars followed by Japan - 4,623 billion dollars, Germany - 2,714 billion dollars, Great Britain - 2,140 billion dollars and France - 2002 billion dollars.

The No. 6-10 positions are occupied by Italy - 1,672 billion dollars, China - 1006 billion dollars, Spain - 991 billion dollars and India - 691 billion dollars.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/13/2005 10:07:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Hewlett-Packard Co is planning to open a new business process outsourcing center in Romania, following stronger-than-expected demand for its finance and accounting services.

Speaking at an outsourcing conference in London, Les Mara, the head of HPs BPO operations in EMEA said: We opened a center in Poland which we thought would give us enough capacity to 2007, but we are about to announce a new center in Romania in the next few weeks as the Polish center is already full.

HP provides finance and accounting services to a number of consumer products companies including Gillette, and Proctor and Gamble.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/12/2005 10:14:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Friday, July 08, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Renault's Moroccan subsidiary Somaca on Thursday launched the Logan assembled from components mostly imported from Romania.

Renault owns 54% of Somaca shares and invested 30 million euros in building the CKD (completely knocked down) assembly line in Casablanca.

Morocco is the third country where Logan is built. This factory has a capacity of 30,000 units a year and most of these are meant to be exported.

The vehicle will be sold under the Dacia brand through Renault's 26 dealer network in Morocco.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/08/2005 10:43:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Deutsche Bank filed Thursday a letter of interest for the takeover of 61.8825% of the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) stock.

At the same time, Belgian bank KBC and Belgian-Dutch group Fortis announced their letters of interest for the privatization of BCR, one day after the withdrawal of the Italian bank Unicredit and Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BC-CA).

The deadline for filling offers was Thursday 5 pm.

The companies that filed letters of interest were Fortis, Banco Comercial Portugues, National Bank of Greece, Intesa, Deutsche Bank AG, Erste Bank AG, Dexia, KBC, BNP Paribas, ABN AMRO, Texas Pacific Group and Citigrup Venture Capital International.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/08/2005 10:40:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Business in Romania blog
The Romanian Prime Minister, Mr. Calin-Popescu Tariceanu, announced today that the Romanian Government will resign, due to the recent decision of the Constitutional Court to question and to ask for the changes of some of the legal initiatives proposed by the Government.

Mr. Tariceanu announced all the ministers that they have to end their missions and wait for new elections in the near future.

Mr. Tariceanu said he wants to start the legal procedures for forcing new elections in the near future. He also said he will inform Mr. Basescu about his decision today.

The news is quite shocking, specially after the main reactions of yesterday. Yesterday, when the Constitutional Court announced that some of the proposed laws would be un-constitutional, everybody who was interviewed said the chances are quite minor and no-one could anticipate such a crisis. But is seems it was just the top of the iceberg and actually the problems are much more important.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling yesterday delays critical justice reforms that were requested by the Euroean Union, which Romania wants to join in 2007. The court, which is packed with people who are close to former president Ion Iliescu, declared certain parts of the justice laws to be unconstitutional.

The EU has warned Romania that its admission to the union would be delayed by a year if it fails to reform its inefficient justice system and enforce anti-trust rules.

We will keep you posted with the aftermath of this decision.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/07/2005 06:29:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Forte Company-Bucharest and its subsidiary, Filiala Comunicatii, are to be aquired by Siemens Aktiengesellschaft-Austria via Siemens Business Services GmbH and Kabel und Drahtwerke-Austria. It seems the Competition Council agreed on this aquisition.

Forte Company is a supplier of software and IT equipment. Siemens Business Services is entirely owned by Kabel, which is controlled by Siemens Aktiengesellschaft.

Siemens also controls Osram Romania - Bucharest, Siemens Motor Systems -Buzias, Siemens Electrical Installation Technology - Sibiu, Sykatec - Sibiu, Siemens - Bucharest, Siemens VDO Automotive - Timisoara, Wallace & TIernan - Bucharest, Siemens Program and System Engineering - Brasov, Siemens Proiect Spital Coltea - Bucharest and Siemens Business Services - Bucharest.

Siemens also holds 50 percent in Fujitsu Siemens Computers - Romania.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/07/2005 10:42:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Business in Romania blog
By the end of this year, Orange Romania aims to extend EDGE coverage to all county capitals, and over the next two years plans to reach 70 per cent of the population with the mobile technology.

The operator's planned 3G network will be developed progressively at the same time with EDGE coverage extension.

The EDGE network was first launched last October and is available at all seaside resorts and in 12 cities: Bucuresti, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, Constanta, Ploiesti, Craiova, Oradea, Iasi, Galati, Arad and Bacau.

There are currently nine EDGE compatible mobile phones available in Orange shops in Romania. It is said that EDGE data transfer speed can reach 215 kbps.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/06/2005 02:40:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Foreign direct investments made in Romania in the first six months of 2005 amounted to USD 672 million, spread across 52 projects, compared to USD 598 million invested in 36 projects in the corresponding period of 2004, according to the Romanian Agency for Foreign Investments (ARIS).

The number of investment projects increased by 13 year-on-year, while their value rose by USD 227 million.

The total value of the investments reached 3,977,021,394 USD.

The main areas in which foreigners have invested are telecommunications (USD 972 million), services (USD 537 million), trade (USD 432 million), energy (USD 431 million), machine building (USD 324 million), metallurgy (USD 217 million), wood-cellulose-paper (USD 285 million).

The top three projects are undertaken by Radiocomunicatii S.A. (telephony, data transmission), Mobifon (telephony) and Holcim S.A. (environmentally friendly concrete plants).

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/06/2005 02:36:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Defense electronics provider Elbit Systems Ltd. has won two contracts worth $25 million to upgrade helicopters for the Romanian air force and navy, the company said Sunday. The projects will be carried out together with the Romanian aircraft manufacturer IAR SA.

Under the first agreement, Elbit will supply enhanced avionic systems and night flight systems for Romanian air force helicopters, with the purpose of upgrading them to comply with NATO standards. The company said that it and IAR will market similar upgrade programs to other customers. The second contract is for the upgrade of the Romanian navy helicopters, Elbit's first for maritime aircraft.

As a member of NATO, Romania needs to comply with its standards to participate in military drills.

The agreement follows a $43m. deal Elbit signed in November to supply the Romanian Defense Ministry with eight IAR-99 lead-in trainer aircraft.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/05/2005 10:12:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
India and Romania have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in the field of Hydrocarbon sector.

The countries have signed a memorandum of understanding for the cooperation in Hydrocarbon sector and also set up a joint working group within the framework of Joint commission of both countries.

The working group will meet later this year, when the joint commission meeting is proposed to be held.

Besides, the MoU, three more agreements were signed including one by K D Malviya institute of Petroleum, an institute run by state-owned ONGC.University of Petroleum, Dehradun, signed a cooperation agreement with the Romanian university and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) too signed an agreement with Romanian Chamber of commerce for cooperation in trade and industry.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/05/2005 09:48:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Monday, July 04, 2005
Business in Romania blog
South Korea's Samsung is interested in taking over local companies from the lamination and tubes industries, stated representative of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

Samsung could also invest in infrastructure upgrade projects and could set up a computerized traffic system in Bucharest.

The South Korean company announced it will develop the Power Line Communication system, listed on the pilot projects of the local power distributor Electrica.

The system allows broadband transmission through power lines.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/04/2005 10:08:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
The granting of public acquisition contracts will be monitored and evaluated by a special national authority, which will apply European regulations and prevent abuses in the spending of public money.

The government approved this decision through an ordinance Wednesday.

The National Authority for Ruling and Monitoring Public Acquisitions would work under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister and would make sure that all public acquisitions are transparent, fair and effective.

The institution would be operational by October and would be led by a State Secretary appointed by the Prime Minister.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/04/2005 10:01:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
New flights for the Bucharest-Iasi and Iasi-Timisoara destinations could be introduced by Tarom on Friday, the Democratic Party senator, Dan Carlan stated.

The senator believes that Iasi has become a major attraction for foreign investors.

Currently, Tarom operates one daily flight on the Bucharest-Iasi sector

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 7/04/2005 09:42:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Friday, July 01, 2005
Business in Romania blog
I was pointing yersterday to the fact that, in my opinion, we would need more products to export, insead of exporting only the service that eventually will develop that product.

Well, related to that, after selling their RAV Antivirus to Microsoft, GECAD started developing some more products in order to be able to stay competitive, stay on the market and explore other markets outside Romania as well.

After more than one year of work, they released yesterday the BETA verion of their e-mail server, called AXIGEN. It can be tested at www.axigen.com.

The Axigen BETA contains: SMTP/ESMTP , POP3, IMAP4, Webmail with structured folder tree, Advanced Filtering Mail System, Logging and Monitoring, etc.

Well, I hope the product is a strong one and I really wish GECAD a lot of succes with Axigen. Just that, in my opinion, the market for mail servers is pretty crowded with a lot of open-source alternatives. How could they outperform those?

I am sure they asked themselves the same question when starting the development of Axigen. I would love to hear the answer.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/01/2005 11:29:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Yesterday, Mr. Teodor Atanasiu from the ministry of defense, announced something meant to be a reason of joy for a lot of young Romanians. It seems going to the Army will no longer be mandatory for young people.

This way, this law, which is one of the priorities for the existing government, should be discussed next week.

If the law is approved, starting from 1st of January 2007 the regular military training will no longer be mandatory. The last group of people who will go to the Army are the ones scheduled for October 2006 and the ones scheduled for June 2006 (the last date refers to the people going to reduced stages - for example, students).

After January 2007, the Army would be based on volunteers. Of course, during war periods, the military training becomes mandatory for men.

You can find more details on this link here. Only in Romanian, sorry. Thanks Tudor for the info !

Posted by Mihai Botea : 7/01/2005 10:50:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog


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