The UK and Romania are two countries positioned at opposite ends of the EU: 1297 miles separate London from Bucharest. There are big cultural differences between the two countries and a very big difference in their historical evolutions. Despite all this, trade is a strong link between Romania and the UK, and it is influenced by their main characteristics: the UK is an island nation relying massively on international trade, and Romania is a newly emerging democracy which on one side imports technology and know-how and on the other applies what it learns in order to export more and consolidate its economic growth. Today I want to address how bilateral trade in the last 7 years looks; what are the favourite goods and services traded and why is the amount of trade not greater.
In January 2007 Romania became an EU member, and this status facilitated economic exchanges with other EU member states. According to the data provided by the UK Government, 4,250 UK companies have a registered presence in Romania and a total investment worth £4 billion.
The trade between the two countries registered a surge since 2007. The peak of UK exports to Romania was registered in 2012, when UK exported to Romania goods and services worth €1.3 billion. The lowest value of the British exports to Romania was €0.86 billion and it was registered in 2009, a year in which both countries were severely affected by the economic crisis.
The peak of UK imports from Romania was registered in 2013, when it imported goods and services worth €1.7 billion. Similarly to the exports, the lowest value of British imports from Romania was registered in 2009 when the UK imported goods and services valuing only €0.97 billion.
Let`s focus now on the kind of goods and services Romania and the UK trade. In order to have a comprehensive image, I am going to show the types of goods and services these two countries traded during their peak years for export (2012) and import (2013) for the UK.
In 2012 the UK ranked 14th in the classification of the top 20 exporters to Romania and its goods and services represented 2.4% of Romania`s total imports.
In 2013 UK ranked 5th in the top 20 export destinations for Romanian goods. The goods and services imported by the UK in 2013 represented 4.2% of Romania`s total exports.
We have now a clearer image of the trade between these two countries in the last 7 years as well as of the goods and services traded. Let`s not forget though that there could be some trade via third countries, especially the Netherlands and Germany, that shows up as trade with them in the statistics. For example Vodafone is registered in Romania as having Dutch capital.
Why isn`t the volume of trade bigger would be a legitimate question. The most obvious answer lies in the fact that the UK traditionally focuses its attention on other countries with which it is more familiar. It is equally true that Romania is a relatively new EU member state and it is positioned at the other end of Europe. But perhaps the biggest reason of all is the lack of knowledge about this market. In the summer of 2013 we conducted a survey among our readers. We asked if they were interested in trading with Romania and if not, what the reason was. 58.06% of the respondents answered that they very interested in doing business in Romania. However, 41.94% declared they were not willing to do business in Romania as they didn`t know very much about this country.
If you do want to do business with Romania, lots of support is available, successful stories as well. If you do not know where to start or if you have got stuck we can help. Just drop us a line about your interest in Romania and we can take it together from there.