A total of 136 Italian companies registered in Romania in January, rising to 146 in February, the foreign ministry said on Monday, citing Romanian statistics.
The figures continue the upward trend of trade between the two countries, with 2,000 Italian businesses making up around 30 percent of new foreign registrations in Romania last year. There are around 37,000 Italian firms operating in Romania, the foreign ministry said.
While the Italian economy continues to struggle, with the European Commission forecasting Italy’s growth domestic product (GDP) at just 0.6 percent this year, Romania remains an attractive location for investors.
GDP in the eastern European country grew by 3.5 percent last year, compared to Italy where the economy shrank by 1.9 percent, according to EU statistics.
Romania “offers 19 million consumers, a well-educated workforce at competitive cost, a strategic location, and abundant natural resources,” according to a US government report published in April 2013.
Italy was named in the report as the seventh-largest investor in Romania, as of September 2012, with $2.26 billion (€1.66 billion) channelled into a number of sectors including textiles, food and banking.
The Italian-language Invest in Romania (Investire in Romania) website lists a string of reasons to attract business from Italy, including the country’s strategic location, adherence to EU standards and a multilingual workforce.