Editorial Features
Facts & Figures
Romanian Advertisers
Key Economic Indicators

Contributors on investment in Romania

Setting the scene

Prospects for Romania, which has suffered in the post-Communist period, have improved following the centre-right's victory in presidential and parliamentary elections in late 1996. The win ended seven years of rule by the basically Communist Party of Social Democracy, which is closely linked with the regime of deposed dictator Nikolae Ceausescu. The removal of PSD President Ilion Iliescu marked the first democratic change of leadership in Romania's history.

The outgoing Government was reluctant to loosen central control of the economy, which suffered as a result. Opaque regulations and fear of corruption under the ex-Communists kept investment low (only about US$1 billion between 1992 and 1995). Much of the economy remains in state hands, the currency is over-valued, damaging exports, and inflation rates are expected to top 45 per cent in 1996.

The new Government has pledged reform and has the political muscle to push it through. Although the country is years behind the Central European thoroughbreds, its future could prove more fruitful than that of neighbouring Bulgaria. Free-market institutions, though weak, are in place. Romania's population, at 23 million, makes the country Central Europe's largest after Poland and a market that foreign investors cannot ignore. The agricultural sector, which employs 30 per cent of the population, is rich, and Romania has oil reserves ready for exploitation.

Key economic indicators
Area (Sq km) 237,500
Population (m) 22.7
GDP/Capita (1995) US$1, 570
President Emil Constantinescu
Currency leu /: 1US$ 8510.0 (FT 29/05/98)

Dana Dragostin, Director, Romanian Development Agency
Investing in Romania

Mugur Isarescu, Chair of the National Bank of Romania
The Romanian banking system

Country report

Sergui Celac, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Romania: a pivotal country along the Europe to Asia business route

Stere Farmache, General Manager, Bucharest Stock Exchange
The Bucharest Stock Exchange - a modern and reliable market

Investment opportunities in Romania
Dana Dragostin, Romanian Development Agency

An economic overview of Romania

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