More than 1000 French and German companies, together with Romanian-owned companies, members of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFER) and the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania) share an optimistic outlook on the economic prospects of Romania at the start of 2016. This is the conclusion of two barometers by the two Chambers of Commerce and industry which have been submitted at the conference „Romania’s Economic Prospects”, on Thursday, 10th of December, attended by companies from industries such as energy, IT, constructions, tourism, agriculture or finance-banks.
The barometers show the perceptions of the members of the two Commerce Chambers on the economic situation and business environment of Romania and reveal how the expected political, social and economic developments of early 2016 will bear on their business decisions.
For the CCIFER business community, the 2015 barometer is encouraging, on a clearly upward trend as compared to previous years, both in what regards the external prospects (economic, political, social, the country’s attractiveness) and the internal situation of the companies (turnover, returns or investments).Carried out three times a year, in February, July and November, the CCIFER economic forecast probes into the economic outlook of the French-Romanian business community. The November edition is the most optimistic of the year, most indicators being on the increase as compared to the results of February or July.
The managers of CCIFER member companies taking this survey believe that Romania is much more attractive for foreign investors in November 2015 than it was in previous years, as the Romanian economic, political and social perceptions are on the increase as compared to the last three years.
The trend regarding the internal environment of the companies is on the increase from previous years. On the other hand, the survey results emphasized worsening expectations on the turnover, return, manpower or investments of the companies between early and end 2015.
A sector-based analysis shows that energy was the most positively regarded by the respondents, seeing a growingly positive outlook since 2012. The IT&C sector recorded a noticeable decrease from 2014. The service, banking and construction sectors share a rather moderate outlook for 2015. Agriculture, trade and industry are on a better trend as compared with the barometer average, despite gloomy prospects in the previous years. As a whole, 2015 is more positively perceived by most sectors as compared to 2014, the latter being characterized by economy-wide negative prospects.
The situation survey carried out by AHK Romania in September 2015 shows that German companies are confident in their current economic status. As regards situational expectations, companies are somewhat more reserved in the autumn than they were in the spring. 68% of the companies expect improvements for the following 12 months (75% in the spring). The employment openings of AHK member companies are also more reserved than in the spring. Companies are still willing to hire, but are faced with shortages of skilled staff and are concerned by the proposed amendment of the labour law. The investment expectations of companies for the following 12 months have decreased, but investment intentions remain firm.
The main economic risk factors pointed out by the AHK survey respondents are the framework economic and political conditions.
These are the infrastructure, public administration and public procurements, where Romania trails behind other Central and Eastern European countries. The lack of skilled staff is another significant risk for the future development of companies.
The positive prospects of AHK member companies have went down from the spring survey. The companies are less optimistic. This may be related to the upcoming local and legislative elections of 2016, but also to insecurity regarding the effects of fiscal measures adopted and planned, but also to developments in the automotive industry that require increased diligence and attention. Even European challenges such as the refugee crisis had their share in this outcome.
The conference of the two Chambers of Commerce featured, for the first time, a live survey with the event participants, mostly company executives. The survey results show a very positive outlook of the business community prospects on the Romanian market. Thus, 97.2% of the respondents are optimistic as regards the Romanian business environment, and 84.5% saw better performance of their companies in 2015 as compared to the previous years. When asked whether they would like to attract European funds next year, only 45.3% answered Yes. Moreover, 72.8% of the respondents deplore the lack of skilled labour.
CCIFER currently includes nearly 500 French and Romanian-owned member companies, accounting for 15% of the Romanian GDP and more than 125 000 jobs.
Established in 2002, AHK Romania is the official representative of the German economy in Romania and numbers more than 530 member companies. AHK Romania supports German companies entering the Romanian market and Romanian companies interested in the German market.
For a comprehensive description of the perception of French and German companies in Romania, also read:
The Competitiveness White Book, available at: