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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Proposals for a European blacklist were still working their way through lawmaking institutions, prompting individual countries to take action in the meantime.

Meanwile, France and Belgium have issued blacklists of airlines prohibited from using their airports, in an attempt to allay public fears about flying after a recent series of deadly crashes.

France's list of banned airlines is: Air Koryo of North Korea; Air St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands; International Air Services of Liberia; Thailand's Phuket Airlines; and Linhas Aereas de Mocambique and Transairways, both from Mozambique.

On the Belgian list were Africa Lines of the Central African Republic; Air Memphis from Egypt; Air Van Airlines of Armenia; Central Air Express from Congo; Libya's ICTTPW; International Air Tours Limited from Nigeria; Johnsons Air Limited of Ghana; Silverback Cargo Freighters from Rwanda; and South Airlines of Ukraine.

Swiss civil aviation officials said they planned to release a similar list Thursday.

Other European countries have rejected national blacklists. The Netherlands, for example, says such a move should be the result of a joint effort by the 25 EU countries.

Starting Sept. 8, different European Union member states will meet in Brussels to work on harmonizing rules to ban or suspend a company's flights, EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said Monday.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 8/31/2005 10:59:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
The Czech second -hand car dealer AAA Auto will open on Thursday a showroom in Bucharest, and its sales network will be expanded next year with one more unit in Constanta or Timisoara.

The company's spokesman, Camelia Rauta, said the company's investments in Romania till now total approximately two million euros.

The funds were mostly allocated for car stock, preparing personnel and announcing through media the event.

AAA Auto intends to invest by 2007 up to 25 million euros for another two units in Bucharest and eight across the country.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 8/31/2005 10:56:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Romanian gymnastics was in disarray on Tuesday when the women's national team, winners of four Olympic golds in Athens, were disbanded after two of their leading members went nightclubbing without permission.

The Romanian Gymnastics Federation (FRG) said it broke up the team after state television station showed triple Olympic champion Catalina Ponor and Floarea Leonida returning from a Bucharest nightclub to their hotel early on Sunday morning.

Romania's national coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang, with no team at their disposal, have asked the FRG if they can resign.

Earlier this month, double Olympic champion Monica Rosu and Alexandra Eremia quit the team after gaining weight and losing interest in their national training programme.

A fifth member of Romania's Olympic team, Daniela Sofronie, has since followed suit.

The 38th world championships will take place in Melbourne, Australia from November 21 to 27.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 8/31/2005 09:48:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Monday, August 29, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Well, this news made me happy, as I am a BitDefender user ( with license :) ).

The guys and girls from made some tests on the reaction speed of over 30 antivirus solutions around the world and BitDefender was one of the few to proactively detect viruses (like Bozari, Zotob and Drudgebot) right in the moment they appear, without the need of any virus definition updates. Download the test results here.

This is because of the HiVE (Heuristics in Virtual Environment) technology implemented in BitDefender, which analyses potential malicious codes even without virus definitions.

Of course, this does not mean that a very old version of BitDefender will detect all new viruses nowadays, but is an increased chance that, when a new virus strikes, you will be protected.

Congratulations to the guys at BitDefender. They are doing a really good job. And they have a very nice working atmosphere in their offices :)

Posted by Mihai : 8/29/2005 04:03:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
A new fiscal strategy for the coming years developed by the Ministry of Public Finances will be discused this week by the Government.

New stipulations of the fiscal strategy include increasing taxes for houses and apartments that exceed 100 square meters, changing taxes for vehicles by fixing rates for every 200 cc of engine capacity depending on the vehicle's class. Vehicle taxes will be calculated at between 10 and 60 lei (2.8 - 17 euros) per 200 cc.

The new fiscal strategy also contains a proposition to increase the Value Added Tax from 19 percent to 22 percent and raising the reduced VAT rate from nine percent to 11 percent. The reduced VAT rate is applied to medicines, books, magazines etc.

Currently, companies with a maximum of nine employees and an annual turnover of less than 100,000 euros pay a three percent tax on turnover to the state budget. The legislation also stipulates these companies must have at least one employee.

The new fiscal strategy includes provisions raising the number of employees to a minimum five.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 8/29/2005 11:43:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu says infrastructure, education, healthcare and agriculture are the priorities of the government's modernisation efforts.

Tariceanu was addressing participants of the Summer School of the National Liberal Youth in the southeast town of Mamaia Saturday (27 August)

In other news, the European Commission's Ambassador to Bucharest, Jonathan Scheele, reiterated on Friday that nothing could stop Romania from acceding to the EU in 2007, if the country fulfils its commitments.

He confirmed that the Commission is collecting data related to the country's progress report, due for release this autumn.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 8/29/2005 11:40:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Yeah, I do. I really do. I just love it.

I am not the usual fan that has Heineken shirts, Heineken shorts, Heineken pen, Heineken all over the place. No. I just have a Heineken glass.

But I would love the T-Shirt below. It's just great ! So, if you love me, you could buy me one. My birthday is tommorow !

Thanks to Eugen for the picture.

Posted by Mihai : 8/27/2005 03:50:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Friday, August 26, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Mobile operator Orange Romania has become the first mobile operator in Romania to reach 6m customers, InvestRomania reports. Orange previously announced 5m customers in January.

In June, mobile phone market penetration surpassed 50 per cent in the country, and estimations for the end of the year are envisaging penetration of up to 60 per cent, these being indicators of the economic climate in Romania.

In the Romanian mobile market, Orange Romania is the mobile operator that for the last two years has registered the largest increases in both customer base and revenues. Connex seems to be going down....i wonder when will the Vodafone aquisition begin to show its effects, if any.

Posted by Mihai : 8/26/2005 07:38:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Romanian Olympics have won four medals - 2 silver and 2 bronze medals - in the International Olympiad in Informatics that took place at Nowy Sacz, in Poland, between 18 and 25th of August, 2005.

These brilliant guys names are Dan Ionut Fechete (Suceava), Mircea Bogdan Pasoi (Ploiesti), Marin Radu (Focsani) and Daniel Vasile Pasaila (Suceava).

These were some of the best performers out of over 300 participants from more than 80 countries. CONGRATULATIONS and keep up the good work, guys !

Maybe this will also contribute to the software development decision of European and American companies when looking at Romania compared to other potential candidates. And Kondiment Solutions is one of the most reliable software development partners you can find here.

Posted by Mihai : 8/25/2005 09:04:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
The word has already spread with amazing speed throughout the entire web-surfers-and-google-addicters community from all around the world...but still, it's a good to mention it.

Google launched Google Talk yesterday, an instant messenging and instant chat (communication) tool that is available for download at It has a nice and simple look-and-feel and is very much oriented towards chat and not very much towards instant messenging.

I personally liked the design, the nice way it integrates with your Gmail account and the nice arrangement of chat windows. Still, it lacks some nice features that YM has and which I cannot really "instant-message" without: emoticons, stealth settings, groups and more.

In my opinion, this is one of the very few Google products that has not been revieed as top-of-top riht after launch. Probably also because of the fact that it entered a very competitive market which is also not Google-core.

Another thing to mention is that the source is open for developers and they plan to work more on it.

Here is a nice look on Google's future plans in the IM industry and all the Skype rumours around it.

Posted by Mihai : 8/25/2005 03:02:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Vice president of the Liberal Party (PNL) Dan Radu Rusanu stated at the National-Liberal Youth Summer Camp on Tuesday, that the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from 19% to 22% and the reduction of social contributions were two measures which would certainly apply starting January 1, 2006.

Rusanu added that without the additional revenues from VAT the reduction of social contributions would be impossible.

Rusanu said that the measure is fair, because everybody benefits from the reduction of social contributions while for the VAT increase, only those who bought more paid more VAT.

He also mentioned a proposal by the Conservative Party (PC) for a reduction in VAT for basic products which had been rejected by the coalition on the grounds that such reductions would not be translated to a lower selling price

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 8/24/2005 10:22:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Monday, August 22, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Why do you read this blog? Why do you read any blog? what kind of blogs do you read?

I would love to hear the answers to these questions from you. Is it because:

- You find newly updated content?
- You like the writing style?
- You find content that other websites would not reveal?
- You are able to interact with the author easier than with regular newspapers / magazines authors ?
- You are able to interact with other readers easier?

Any of the above? all of the above?

Personally, I like blogs with new content, with recommandations and also some of the personal blogs. I like them because they present information in a friendlier manner, you can make pretty fast a good idea if that blog adds value to you and the writing style is much more relaxed and easier to understand.

What about corporate blogs? Well, I like them even more. Because you can find out a lot about a company through its corporate blog. You can actually interact with that company as if it was a person. You can percieve that company as a fellow guy / girl and communicate with it. With him or with her.

I am planning to launch a corporate blog pretty soon and I would greatly appreciate your input into the matter. Also, I would love to help other people launch their corporate blog, so if you are interested, don't hesitate to contact me.

What corporate blogs do you like? Why do you like them? What corporate blogs you dislake and why ?

Thanks for the input. Good night :)

Posted by Mihai : 8/22/2005 08:44:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
I am writing on a less than obvious topic, that of the relationship between work and health. To start with, I'm sure nobody reads this text on the TV, so I assume you're in front of a computer. Good, me too. And a lots of other people are, too.
So, given that there's a fair enough chance for one reading this blog to relate to my story, here goes a personal story. I'll try to make it short. I spend too much time in front of the computer, often in (way) sub-optimal positions - from an ergonomics point of view - either working or playing games.
Surely some of us have a keyboard at work or at home that is "anti-RSI". I do. I have even wondered what RSI is and I found it means repetitive strain injury. That, acoording to Wikipedia, is an occupational overuse syndrome affecting muscles, tendons and nerves in the arms and upper back. It occurs when muscles in these areas are kept tense for very long periods of time, due to poor posture and/or repetitive motions. Guess what, it suits me just fine. So when my wrist started to hurt, I had a pretty accurate suspicion as to what it is.
What next?
I cannot substitute professional medical advice and so on, but I'll tell you what I did, and until you seek that help, perhaps you can resort to this.
First: ergonomics. I won't copy paste content here, but you can do a quick search and find out how you should (/should not) sit, keep your arms while working and so on.
Second: medication. If it hurts, don't use pain relievers, use something anti-inflamatory (which really helps the condition).
Third: software. What? Yes, software. The best kind: Free, GNU public license kind of software. Where? It has excellent features, putting it on top of some commercial programs designed for the same purpose.
End of story.
Now, I wish you all the best. I want you to work hard, have no problems and increase GDP. Just in case, though...

Posted by TM : 8/22/2005 04:20:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
According to a study by the statistics institute of the European Union, Eurostat, Romania ranks last compared with 18 member states of the EU and two candidate countries (Bulgaria and Turkey).

The minimum wage recorded in Romania in January 2005 was 72 euros, while Bulgarians receive at least 77 euros and Turkish workers 240 euros per month.

The minimum wage is fixed by the government, usually after consultation with social partners, and this is enforced by law.

The Eurostat study establishes Luxembourg as the country with the highest minimum wage; 1,467 euros in January 2005. Second place is held by the Netherlands, with a 1,265 euros minimum wage, and Belgium - 1,210 euros. Of EU member states, the lowest minimum salaries are paid in Latvia - 116 euros, while in Lithuania the minimum wage is 145 euros.

In the USA, the Federal minimum wage is 666 euros ($809.50), though a number of individual States have a higher figure.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 8/22/2005 11:20:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Business in Romania blog
An article in Cotidianul ( website developed by Kondiment Solutions, which makes me very proud :) ) points out that the train tickets are about to be 40% more expensive by 2007.

Making an easy comparison, this would mean that a train ticket from Bucharest to Oradea will cost around 40 EUR, while a plane ticket on the same route costs about 35 EUR (Tarom flights). Even more, the train takes about 10 hours to reach Oradea, while the trip lasts no longer than 40 minutes with the plane.

Looking forward to the day all the major cities in Romania will have an airport, so we can travel faster and in much better conditions. The only inconvenience is that most of the airports are quite far out of the city. But it pays off to take a cab, too.

Posted by Mihai : 8/17/2005 05:50:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Romania's economy grew 5.9 percent in the first quarter this year compared with the same period last year, the national statistics office said Tuesday.

The service sector was the country's main economic growth engine main showing a 6.8 percent rise from the same period last year, while industry grew by 5 percent and agriculture by 1.8 percent.

Romania's National Bank Governor - Mugur Isarescu - said the bank expects inflation to drop to 7.5 percent for 2005 and 5 percent for 2006, down from 9.3 percent in 2004.

This plain news made it to most of the major newspapers in the world, from Business Week to Forbes and and MSN Money, which hopefully will improve our image in the international business world.

Posted by Mihai : 8/16/2005 08:41:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Monday, August 15, 2005
Business in Romania blog
I wrote earlier about the Investors moving to Romania....the same article I was writing about is now featured also in Forbes Magazine, presenting Romania in quite a favorable perspective.

I believe it's a positive change from the old - and definitely not-so-true - image of Romania as a country full of gypsies and abandoned children.

Yesterday Realitatea TV featured an interview with a French reporter, working for Associated Press, who is living in Romania for 2 years, and said "I would like to invite 60 million French people here for them to convince themselves Romania is a beautiful and truly European country". Much closer to truth, in my opinion.

In my opinion, most foreigners comming to Romania percive our country better than we are. Is this a fact or is it just my imagination? What do you thing? Are we blinded by the negative images the media is serving us everyday? Have we forgot how to enjoy ourselves?

Posted by Mihai : 8/15/2005 05:24:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Friday, August 12, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Just when Logan seemed to be doing well, Dacia is cutting some 1000 jobs (992 by some sources, 950 by others).

It seems the jobs cutting has been agreed with the social parties involved, so we can expect that this move will go along without major protests.

Some of the people who will lose their jobs could be relocated to another plant Renault will build near Colibasi.

Posted by Mihai : 8/12/2005 02:32:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
I recently wrote about an article that presented Romania as a popular destination for business investments.

It seems that a lot of companies are planning to relocate their business in Romania, due to the low operational costs and the proximity to their office location.

For example, an umbrella manufacturer from UK is planning to move some 40 jobs to Romania. The company is named Hoyland Fox and is considered to be Europe's leading umbrellas manufacturer. The company is originated in the initial firm founded by Samuel Fox, inventor of the paragon rib umbrella back in 1842.

As we have some high rains in Romania in certain seasons, I believe the decision is a smart one. Open up your umbrellas, guys.

Posted by Mihai : 8/12/2005 10:24:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Business in Romania blog
I usually read a lot about Consulting, about Management and Strategy in Business. But in the latest months, few articles managed to impress me.

Still, last night I had some wonderful experience with an article in Harvard Business Review that created a parallel between the Linux developers community and the Toyota cars manufacturer about the way they act to changes, the way they work with their suppliers and partners and the entire way-of-thinking around it.

The article is simply great. Too bad it is not free (good things don't always come for free), but I can give you some insight about it. For those of you interested, mail me at mihai.botea AT and we can discuss more.

Otherwise, just thing for yourself about how Linux managed to become a great business by relaying only on freelancers passion and how Toyota manages not to halt production when a fire destroys one of their main suppliers factory. Keep in mind that Toyota works with parts stocks that last some hours, not days.

Here is an excerpt: "Toyota is remarkably similar to Linux in the way it blends key characteristics of both markets and hierarchies. Like markets, the Toyota and Linux communities can be self-organizing, but unlike markets, they don’t use cash or contracts at critical junctures. Like hierarchies, Toyota and Linux enjoy low transaction costs, but unlike hierarchies, their members may belong to many different organizations (or to none at all) and are not corseted by specific, predefined roles and responsibilities. And like hierarchies, members share a common purpose, but that purpose emanates from self-motivation rather than from the external incentives or sanctions that hierarchies generally impose. In these respects, Toyota and Linux represent the best of both worlds. An analysis of their common characteristics suggests how high-performance organizations remain productive and inventive even under grueling conditions. We believe those lessons can significantly improve the way work in most organizations gets done."

Posted by Mihai : 8/11/2005 05:15:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
A nice articole today about the investments in Romania and Bulgaria. You can read it here, on Business Week's website.

Some excerpts:

"The Baneasa development, one of the largest of its kind in the region, will include more than 3,000 houses, a business park and a large commercial district, developers say. It is expected to create 10,000 temporary jobs and space for 25,000 permanent jobs."

"Bucharest mayor Adriean Videanu announced plans last week to annex dozens of surrounding villages to spur similar developments. The project would give the crowded city space to grow, while modernizing the undeveloped surrounding area, Videanu said."

"Romania has a great future in development," said Andreas Wiennen, general manager of the German-based auto parts maker Eckerle Group, which opened a new factory in 2003 in the Transylvanian city of Cluj.

Let's hope the investors will really take this step. Statistics say hey are.

Posted by Mihai : 8/11/2005 05:00:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Capital Magazine published an article about blogging in Romania. The Business in Romania Blog is featured in that magazine, along with other blogs like Argumente and Daniel Neamu's blog.

Read the article for yourself here:

My opinion is the article is quite good, but the title is not the best one they could have written.

Anyway, it is a good thing that the Romanian media (and specially a magazine like Capital) is interested in the blogging phenomenon and I hope this will contribute to the blogs getting more popular.

Posted by Mihai : 8/10/2005 11:54:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Business in Romania blog
A good friend of mine recently started a company in Romania that is going to help both companies - in their marketing and brand promotion - and also people in owning some very nice accessories.

The LaserFashion company is about creating crystal objects that contain, engraved by laser, an image or figure of your choice.

This way, you can have your face engraved in a key-holder that you can give to your girlfriend, you can have your corporate logo or your product image in a pres-papier that you can give as a gift to your partners and so on.

I saw their work and they are really good quality products and have impressive impact.

Even more, until 25th of August, you can benefit from a promotion with 20% discount off the price list. For example, a standard key-holder can be bought for as low as 16 USD.

For more details, you can check out their website at or send an e-mail to

Posted by Mihai : 8/09/2005 12:16:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Jupiter Research recently announced that they expect that, by 2010, Search Engine Marketing will become the most important online advertising media. The report shows that SEM will overcome Online Banners Promotion, which is currently the most used online advertising service.

Search Engine Marketing is growing at about 12% each year, while online banners promotions are growing with 7%.

This shows that companies are becoming more aware of the benefits of Search Engine Marketing, which consist of attracting visitors based on the relevant searches they conduct over the web.

Overall, Internet based promotion should reach USD 18.9 bilion by 2010.

In Romania, Kondiment Solutions, the company I am working with, is the pioneer in Search Engine Opitmization and Search Engine Marketing. If you are interested in this kind of services, along with Web Content Management Solutions, don't hesitate to contact me or visit our eKontent website.

Posted by Mihai : 8/09/2005 11:18:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Romanian IT products retailer Flamingo opened the third store of its recently launched mobile-oriented retail chain Future Shop, investing 70,000 euro.

The new outlet is located in Constanta, south-eastern Romania. It offers mobile IT products, such as portable PC, PDA, multimedia, photo, video and GSM products.

At present, Flamingo operates a domestic network of 82 outlets as well as international stores in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro.

And they are listed at the Busharest Stock Exchange. And they are doing well. Congrats !

Posted by Mihai : 8/07/2005 10:11:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Direct investment with significant impact on the Romanian economy reached 750 million dollars, for 56 projects, January through July 2005, up 19 percent from the year-ago period.

Out of the 56 projects registered during January to July this year, 35 projects are Greenfield investments amounting USD 285 million and the rest of 21 projects are Brownfield and their engaged value totalized USD 465 million. Most of the projects are registered by the Bucharest-Ilfov Regional Development Agency.

As for foreign investors, over October 1, 2001 - June 30, 2005, Dutch ones come in first, with 824 million dollars, or 20.32 percent of the total investment, followed by French ones - 367 million dollars, or 9.04 percent, and German ones - 227 million dollars, or 5.61 percent.

You can find more details on

Posted by Mihai : 8/04/2005 04:39:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Not everyone can leave their full-time job to pursue an MBA, and not everyone is willing to tackle the challenging task of juggling work, personal life, and
school. Now, with the new Weekend MBA that CEU Business School launches in Romania, the same high quality American MBA degree can be earned on the weekends, while staying on the fast track, with no career interruption. "The Weekend MBA was designed with the working professional in mind. The logistics have been developed to allow participants to maximally focus on coursework during the intensive 3-day sessions, with minimal disruption to work."

Andreas Antonopoulos (PhD, MBA), CEU Business School Graduate Programs Director, will visit Romania between July 28th and August 2nd and will be available for
interviewing potential candidates for the Weekend MBA Program. Those interested in the program, are welcome to contact them and schedule interview appointments.

CEU Business School was established in 1988 (it was known for the past 15 years as IMC - International Management Center) by a group of visionary leaders, including philanthropist George Soros and Hungarian entrepreneur Sándor Demján. It was the first educational institution in the CEE region to train managers by offering a western graduate business program leading to an American MBA. After 12 years of granting joint degrees, IMC joined Central European University, as an integral part of the institution, but remaining a legally independent, separately registered entity. It's name was officially changed to CEU Graduate School of Business in September of 2002.

For more information about the program and interview appointments, please contact them at following coordinations:

Daniel Secareanu
MSc & MBA Program Manager
CEU Business School

Posted by Mihai : 8/02/2005 11:20:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog

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