„Have courage, go to Romania to see what it offers you and you’ll discover a dynamic country with potential and desire of growth,” is the message that Jana Klokockova, President of the Mixed Czech-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry sends to potential Czechs businessmen seeking to invest in Romania in an exclusive interview for Romania Journal.
During the 8 years since its establishment, the Mixed Czech-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry had a very clear objective: to facilitate the development of suitable business opportunities for Czech companies in Romania. Among them are Axe Consulting, Arbo-Eko, CEZ, Confima Romania, Farmtec, Feroz, Kingston, Lumoris a.s.o.
Therefore, the areas in which Czech businessmen are interested to invest on domestic market are extremely diverse: from agriculture, energy, food, mechanical and automotive industry, construction, tourism, to upgrading public transport, schools, hospitals, transport infrastructure, designing biogas stations and water treatment plants.
„Recently, we have advised a company who invested in a lighting factory in Romania and another one offering warning systems against the risk of flooding,” Jana Klokockova said, without giving further details.
Despite the difficult economic conditions due to financial crisis in 2009, the Czech Republic remained a constant investor in Romania. What makes our country attractive for Czech businessmen?
„Heads of the Czech companies present in Romania appreciate especially the high level of the workforce in technicals, as well as the communication skills on foreign languages. For example CEZ often pointed out its appreciation on Romanian management staff in technical and economic departments of the company,” Klokockova notes, adding: „We also appreciate steps taken for a better transparency in public procurement. Significant achievements in this area have already been noticed.”
In her view, if it’s to define the profile of the Czech investor on the local market, he represents a middle-sized company in technical area, ’with young spirit and team’.
In terms of bilateral economic relations, the data are increasing, as well as the value of Czech investments in Romania.
After reaching a peak in 2008, when the turnover of commercial trade has reached close to EUR 2 billion, the economic and financial crisis 6 years ago has affected the Czech-Romanian commercial relation.
2010 has marked, though, a rapid revival, the turnover of trade exceeding its extent from 2007 and the level of Romanian exports on the Czech market has reached an historical record of over EUR 570 million, 2.7 times higher than in 2005.
According to the data provided by the Mixed Czech-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in 2014 the Czech exports reached EUR 1.67 billion, while the imports – EUR 1.26 billion.
„The turnover between our countries amounted to EUR 2.93 billion last year. The figures show that the economic balance is becoming… more balanced,” Jana Klokockova stated.
Czechs appreciate many products ’made in Romania’. Among the foodstuffs, the Sibiu salami is most wanted. As throughout the EU, Dacia is a car that you are frequently finding on the Czech streets. At the same time, Romanian cinematography is well known in Kafka’s country.
There is also interest for some chemical industry products, fertilizers for example.
As President of the Mixed Czech-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jana Klokockova knows very well the domestic business environment. She appreciates the opening that the authorities have, both locally and nationally, by organizing forums for investors, as well as the involvement of organizations that have a say in the Romanian economic and financial landscape.
Klokockova mentions that the institution she represents has representatives in the Coalition for Romania’s Development (CDR), an excellent platform for exchange of views and experiences between foreign investors and the government.