Romania Focuses on Exports as EU Accession Nears

Article excerpt

by ITC staff

Romanians are taking major steps to upgrade exports, with help from ITC.

Faced with the challenges of its entry into the European Union (EU), Romania is keen to improve its export competitiveness in four sectors of strategic importance for the country's economy: textiles and garments; wooden furniture; information and communications technology (ICT); and organic agriculture.

In July 2006, Romania, Switzerland and ITC launched a million-dollar project, Sustainable Export Development in Romania. The project, sponsored by secO (the Swiss State secretariat for Economic Affairs), has the backing of the Romanian Government and strong commitment from local partners such as chambers of commerce and industry, the Romanian Trade Promotion Center and various sectoral organizations. ITC is providing technical support and guidance.

The three-year project (2006-2008) is designed to contribute to Romania's overall economic and human development through improving the competitiveness of Romanian exporters. This takes on special significance in view of the country's entry into the EU on 1 January 2007, when competition is certain to become keener for Romanian exporting firms.

Improving competitiveness

In this context, the Romanian business community and the trade promotion authorities have developed a National Export Strategy, which the Swiss-financed ITC project will support with methodological approaches and technical advice. The project will improve the capacities of Romanian providers of export development services in areas such as strategy design and planning, international contracts, market analysis, packaging, quality and supply chain management and the use of ICTs.

The project focuses on the four priority sectors, due to their growth potential and acknowledged importance to Romania's economy.

The textiles and garments sector counts some 5,000 companies spread throughout the country. …