Satu Mare County

Gheorghe Miclaus
Satu Mare County Council

Satu Mare county is an area of 4,418km, situated in the north-west of Romania on the common border zone with Hungary and the Ukraine. Connection with Hungary is possible via the customs point at Petea, while the customs point at Halmeu is the gateway to the Ukraine. Petea is situated at a distance of 10km from Satu Mare town on DN 19A (national road). This customs point is open to people, with the aim of being open to goods traffic from the year 2000. Halmeu is situated 35km from Satu Mare town on E81 (European road) and is being opened to goods traffic (via road and railway).

The residence of the county is situated 622km from Bucharest, 350km from Budapest and 600km from Wien.

The population of the county is 394,000 inhabitants, 46.6 per cent of whom are living in urban areas. The ethnical structure is as follows:

  • Romanians - 59 per cent;
  • Hungarians - 39 per cent;
  • Germans - three per cent;
  • other nationalities - three per cent.

Transport infrastructure

The surface of the county is covered by:

  • road networks: a European road, three national roads and 1500km county and communal roads;
  • a total of 298km of railway networks;
  • an international airport in Satu Mare town, providing flights to Bucharest, Arad, Cluj, New York and offering opportunities for charter flights as well.

Natural resources

From the point of view of relief forms, the county's territory is different, including plains as a dominant relief form, hills and mountains. The hydrographic network is represented by the rivers: Somes, Tur and Crasna, as well as by the artificial lakes from Calinesti-Oas (370 ha) and Apa (120 ha). The county is placed on a huge underground reservoir; the water break-ups on the surface as mineral water or thermal water (with temperatures over 50°C or even over 70°C) with curative properties.

As a result of the complex geological structure, in the subsoil of Satu Mare county there are numerous mineral substances necessary for the development of an economy. In mountainous areas, complex ores were discovered: pyrite, zinc, lead, gold, silver, iron and also bentonite required by the colours and detergents industry. The county's soil contains several materials needed in construction: andesite, sandstone, limestone, clay, sand, kaolin clay and coloured soil.

The county's vegetation is framed in steeper areas and forests. In western areas, vegetation is characterised by plantations of orchards and acacia woods. Oak forests and beech, ash, maple, hazelnut and linden trees dominate the plain areas; in regions of high humidity, aspen and alder trees may be found, while oak and beech woods are more common in hilly areas. The county's fauna has different kinds of animals for hunting (stags, roebucks, wild boars, foxes, rabbits, pheasants) and important fish resources.



Seventy-two per cent of the county's land is used for agricultural production. The global agricultural production represents 50.5 per cent of the total production of the county. The main agricultural crops are:

  • cereal;
  • vegetables;
  • fruits;
  • strawberries - the county provides 75 per cent of the country's strawberries);
  • technical plants (flax, hemp, sunflower, sugar beet, tobacco, rape);
  • production.
The animal sector is characterised by bovine, swine, poultry and sheep breeding. The sheep are highly prized for the excellent quality of their wool.


The county's industrial production represents 49.5 per cent of the county's total production. Among the most representative industrial products of the county are:

  • cooking stoves (90 per cent of the country's production);
  • furniture - 6.3 per cent;
  • sugar - 6.1 per cent;
  • knitted goods - 5.2 per cent;
  • milk and milk products - 4.5 per cent;
  • flax and hemp textures - 3.5 per cent;
  • ready-made clothes - 2.8 per cent;
  • fero-concrete prefabs - 2.7 per cent.

Taking into account its geographical characteristics, the county is offering possibilities for the development of the following industrial branches:

  • Goods manufacturing industry:

    - the most representative factory of this branch is Electrolux, Samus, a leading enterprise in Romania's cooking stove production. Having been taken over by the Swedish corporation Electrolux, the factory is developing and diversifying its production,

    - about 50km from Satu Mare town there is a small glass and semi-crystal factory producing almost exclusively for export to the United States (US), Italy and Germany;

  • Wood manufacturing industry:

    - in this branch there is a wide range of factories (from small and medium-sized to large ones) producing high-quality furniture. Their production is almost completely designated for export;

  • Light industry:

    - in this branch the most important is Steilmann - Mondiala, a ready-made clothes factory, (a private company with a majority of shares belonging to the German partner),

    - there are also knitted goods, texture, lace and shoes factories;

  • Technical plants manufacturing industry:

    - the most representative in this branch are the vegetable oil and sugar producing factories in Carei. In addition exist factories manufacturing flax and hemp, tobacco and rape;

  • Foodstuff industry:

    - there is a canned fruit-manufacturing factory in Carei which processes plums and apples, with the possibility of producing fruit juice. Despite the county's real potential, this branch is insufficiently developed. There is also a dairy product factory in Satu Mare and some breweries;

  • Machine building and metal-processing industry:

    - the most representative, traditional factories with highly qualified workers from several generations are producing: mining equipment, spare parts for the chemical industry, trailers, hydraulic break systems and spare parts for cars. Unfortunately, after 1989, as a consequence of the economic decline in Romania and despite the well-qualified staff, these companies are experiencing a difficult period. New technologies need to be introduced in order to raise labour productivity and the competitiveness of these companies with foreign ones on European markets.


In Satu Mare county it is possible to find several distinct tourist areas such as Oas Land, Codru Land, the towns of Satu Mare, Carei, Negresti, Tasnad, the communes Mediesu Aurit, Ardud and Ady Endre village. Oas Land is a complex region, renowned for its special natural landscapes:

  • Luna Ses with Pietroasa peak, where a resort for winter sports is intended to be created. There is a possibility to set up a ski track;
  • Puturoasa and Camârzana Depressions;
  • Calinesti-Oas Lake.
This land is also well-known for its rich folklore and long tradition of folk art. Codru Land has its most attractive landscapes at Oteloaia Lake and its forests are populated by wild animals which may be hunted.

Among the tourist spots worth visiting in Satu Mare town are:
  • the Dacia Hotel - built in the year 1902 in Secession style;
  • the Roman Catholic Church - built in 1786 in New-classic style;
  • the Firemen Tower dating back to 1904;
  • the Art Museum - situated in a building dating back to the eighteenth century in New-gothic and baroque style and declared a historical monument;
  • Somes pleasure complex complete with thermal water and swimming pools;
  • the castle of the Karoly family in Carei - built at the end of the eighteenth century in Baroque style and home to the town's museum;
  • the reservation of Dacians from Mediesu Aurit;
  • the church in Acâs - built in Roman style and dating back to the twelfth century - the most ancient church in the county;
  • the wooden churches dating back to the eighteenth century;
  • the Sâmbra Oilor Hut - situated on the hill with the same name where a traditional folk festival takes place annually;
  • Calinesti-Oas Lake, where the 'Strawberries Festival' takes place annually.
With your support, Satu Mare, an ancient territory of history and civilisation, could become an open gateway to the European Union (EU) and the world.


At this time the county's educational network comprises 104 institutions:

  • primary schools;
  • 18 high schools;
  • eight postgraduate colleges;
  • two universities.
These institutions teach in Romanian, Hungarian and German.


The county has cultural institutions including:

  • the North Theatre (with Romanian and Hungarian sections);
  • the Dinu Lipatti Symphonic Orchestra (with more 50 years activity);
  • the Folk Ensemble 'Tara Oasului'
  • 11 museums;
  • five local newspapers;
  • two local radio stations;
  • one local television station.


The health network comprises hospitals and drugstores all over the county. The whole health network has met with serious problems as a result of lack of funds and a lack of a private assurance system.

Main objectives of the County Council

  • setting up an industrial park in Satu Mare town, with future plans to transform it into a duty-free area;
  • modernising the road networks;
  • modernising Satu Mare Airport;
  • setting up ecological waste storing and recycling places;
  • supporting the SME's development process;
  • extending the water and natural gas supply networks and solving sewerage problems in rural areas;
  • developing rural tourism and setting up a tourist catalogue of the county.

For more information, contact Consiliul Judetean Satu Mare, Satu Mare County Council, 3900 Satu Mare, Str. P-ta 25 Octombrie, Nr.1, Romania. Tel/Fax: +40 61 710 651

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