The prospects for post-Brexit economic and trade cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom, as well as capitalizing on the opportunities offered by the Romanian-British bilateral strategic partnership concluded in 2003, were the main topics of the discussions that took place today between the Minister for the Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Ştefan-Radu Oprea, and the British Trade Commissioner, Andrew Mitchell. The meeting took place in the presence of H.E. Andrew Noble, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Romania.
Minister Oprea presented his dialogue partners the Ministry for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship concerns to increase the level of investment and bilateral trade, expressing hope that the pace and level of cooperation will be maintained after the United Kingdom exiting the European Union.
“Romania’s strategic objective is for the European Union and the United Kingdom to have a close relationship after Brexit. In the context of the bilateral Strategic Partnership, we want to deepen the economic dimension. We are considering commercial and investment projects in the automotive, energy, infrastructure or R & D sectors”, Minister Oprea said.
The London Stock Exchange Group’s entry to the Romanian market by opening the business services centre in Bucharest was a strong British investment signal for Romania. Also, “the opening in Liverpool of an agency of MODPACK SYSTEM – a Romanian company and one of the leading national suppliers of industrial packaging services for export and relocation of industrial sites – is a success story and a model for other Romanian investors to follow on the British market”, Minister Oprea said.
Romania’s takeover of the rotating presidency of the European Union Council in the first half of 2019 was also a topic of interest in the bilateral meeting held in Bucharest. Minister Ştefan-Radu Oprea assured the British Commissioner of Romania’s support for finalizing the UK agreement for exiting the European Union.
The two officials also analyzed the future of the World Trade Organization collaboration, and the dialogue partners agreed on the need to modernize such collaboration so that it can respond to the current challenges of the global economy and operate for everyone once again.
Minister Oprea informed the British Commissioner that, on the WTO agenda, e-commerce is receiving special attention, and that, during Romania’s mandate of the EU Council presidency, an event cantered on innovation will be organized, thus inviting the United Kingdom to join the discussions in order to send a clear signal within the Union that bilateral relations continue.
The meeting took place in the context of organizing in Bucharest the BUSINESS BREAKFAST AND TRADE SUMMIT ON INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY, held by the Romanian-British Chamber of Commerce.
Great Britain is for Romania the 6th partner among the EU Member States in terms of total trade in goods. On export, the UK is the fifth country among the destination markets for Romanian exports, and it ranks 13th in the top import partner countries.
In 2017, there was a new record in the history of bilateral relations, when trade totalled 4.25 billion Euros, out of which 2.56 billion Euros were exports, and 1.69 billion Euros were imports.
In the first two months of 2018, bilateral trade had a total value of 2.72 billion Euros, of which 1.72 billion Euros exports – an increase by 13.86% as against the same period in 2017, and EUR 996 million imports – an increase by 3.18%. Trade surplus remains, as a positive balance of EUR 727.75 million is registered.
Bilateral trade flows are dominated by highly processed products. Main groups of exported products: machinery, appliances, electrical equipment and parts thereof; vehicles, aircraft, vessels and auxiliary transport equipment; textiles and clothing; common metals and common metals items; plastics and plastics items, rubber and rubber items; food; various goods and products (mostly furniture).
And from an investment point of view, Great Britain is an important partner for Romania, currently ranked the 12th, with direct investments of about 1 billion Euros.
Ministry for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship