Austria and Romania – a Solid and Close Partnership in Economy, Culture and European Affairs

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26 October marks Austria’s National Day. Austria, the second largest investor in Romania.

Over the past decades the bilateral relation between Austria and Romania evolved into a solid and close partnership with a particular focus on the fields of trade and economy, culture and cooperation in the framework of the European Union. The common Austro-Romanian history of several centuries and the Austrian origin of parts of the German speakers in the Banat, Transylvania, Maramures and in Bucovina today form a rich basis for relations full of friendship, respect and mutual understanding.

One of our most successful initiatives in European affairs is the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. From its inception, both Romania and Austria have been driving forces behind the strategy which also lead to enhanced bilateral dialogue. Stronger cooperation and more connectivity between the 14 countries of the Danube region with close to 120 million inhabitants will create greater prosperity for this entire region.

Despite the current challenging economic situation, Austria continues to be a reliable and active trading partner. With an estimated invested capital stock of approximately 11.4 billion Euros, accounting for 19.1% of the overall investment, Austria remains the second largest investor, covering a broad range of different industries from oil and gas, banking and insurance to real estate, construction and wood processing to renewable energy. Close to 7.000 Romanian companies have Austrian capital. Around 1000 active investors from Austria have created more than 100.000 direct jobs in Romania.

A lot of the new investment projects come from companies that are already established investors in the market. For example Salesianer Miettex opened their second industrial laundry facility in Romania, Hobas Rohre enlarged their production facilities in Bucharest, OMV continues to reinvest their profits in Romania, as in the case of a 600 Mil. Euro investment in the modernization of Petrobrazi refinery, completed 2014 or the successful gas exploration activities in the deep-water sector of the Black Sea, and Holzindustrie Schweighofer invested in a new sawmill in Reci/Covasna. All this shows that Austrian enterprises have distinguished themselves in Romania as reliable partners who also keep investing in environmental protection, sustainability, training and capacity building.

A typical example of cooperation between Romanian and Austrian authorities is the strengthening of the system of dual vocational training in Romania. The combination of company-based training of apprentices and education at a part-time vocational school will provide young people with necessary technical skills and knowledge allowing them to enter the job market as qualified skilled workers. Another joint project aims at increasing the efficiency of the Romanian public acquisition system. These joint efforts will strengthen Romania’s competitiveness and contribute to economic growth and prosperity.

26 October marks Austria’s National Day. On this day in 1955 the last foreign soldier of the 4 Allied Occupying Powers left the Austrian territory and the country – after declaring its neutrality – regained its full independence.

Article provided by the Austrian Embassy in Bucharest

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