British investors are increasingly interested in Romania

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Bucharest, Romania — The number of businessmen from the United Kingdom who intend to invest in Romania has doubled this year in comparison to 2004, showing that the country is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for British investors.

Quinton Quayle, the UK's ambassador in Romania, said at a conference held by the Romanian-British Chamber of Commerce that there are approximately 20 British companies investing in Romania this year, but would not reveal more information.

Brian Davies, president of the British company Sanders Polyfilms, which currently has operations in Romania, claims that investors from the UK come to the country not only for the local market, which is the second-largest in Central and Eastern Europe, but also because Romania could be a great export centre to other markets in the region.

Other factors that make Romania attractive are a low flat tax rate of 16% on personal income and corporate profits, as well as a skilled, English-speaking workforce.

So far, companies from the United Kingdom have invested $1.2 billion in Romania. Romania's total foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2004 was 4.1 billion euro. Besides the UK, other large investors in Romania are Austria, Italy, Germany and France.

Relations between the UK and Romania have been boosted recently as a result of the Romanian president, Traian Băsescu, making a visit to London earlier in the year. During his election campaign last year, Băsescu said that he wanted to create a London-Bucharest-Washington axis, accenting the importance of Romania's relationship with the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Romania's ties to the UK are also important as the UK will hold the EU's rotating presidency from July to December 2005, at a crucial stage of Romania's preparations for EU accession, which is expected to occur in 2007.