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Foreign direct investments (FDI) in Romania - statistics & facts

Foreign direct investments represent an important component of the Romanian economy, with a significant impact on the country’s financial capital, state budget, balance of payments and market structure. Simply put, a foreign direct investment is an investment made by a company or by an individual from one country, into a business located in another country. In Romania, the number of FDI projects peaked in the mid-2000s, and dropped to 78 projects by 2019. In spite of the drop in numbers, the FDI stock recorded its maximum value in 2019 at over 88 billion euros.
Apart from the impact on the national economy, foreign direct investments also influence the business environment in terms of management skills, human resources development, and most importantly job creation and employment. In 2019, FDI projects created over four thousand new positions in the country.

Greenfield investments

The OECD divided foreign direct investments into the following categories: mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring, extension of capital and greenfield investments. The number of greenfield investments in Romania, specifically those of foreign companies creating a subsidiary in a different country by building its operations from the ground up, amounted to 260 projects in 2019, with a value of over six billion U.S. dollars. Since 2006, greenfield investments in Romania accounted for the majority of FDI stock. Regarding the geographical distribution, it comes as no surprise that most greenfield enterprises opened in Romania were located in Bucharest. At the same time, by 2019, the Netherlands had largest share of greenfield investments in Romania, worth over 12 billion euros. Germany followed, with greenfield investments of nearly ten billion euros.

Leading sectors

Romania is known for its industrial tradition and powerful market, as well as for the cost of labor, which is one of the lowest in the European Union. These aspects led to the development of the industrial sector, which attracted a significant amount of foreign direct investments. In 2019, the value of tangible and intangible fixed assets of FDIs in the industry sector amounted to nearly 20.5 billion euros. Moreover, a third of the FDI stock was directed towards the manufacturing industry. In this regard, some of the most appealing and profitable manufacturing sub-sectors for foreign investors were automotive, transport equipment, oil processing and metallurgy.


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