Most of the Romanian exports are bound for the countries of Western Europe - France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom - that take up 57pct of the goods and services exported to the European Union and 44pct of the total exports, which means almost 37.2 billion euros in 2018, resulting in a surplus of 3.8 billion in the trade with these countries, the Competition Council says in a study on Romania's foreign trade and obstacles on the European markets for Romanian exporters.
It points out that, on the other hand, Romania exports much less to the countries of Eastern Europe, which are structurally and geographically closest, such as Hungary (a deficit of 2.6 billion euros), Poland (minus 2.3 billion euro), Slovakia (minus 658 million euro), and the Czech Republic (minus 398 million euro).
"The analysis carried out by the Competition Authority shows that in 2018 transport services generated exports of about 6.15 billion euros, that is one third of the total exports of services from Romania and the equivalent of 46pct of the total foreign trade surplus in services. Transport services, business to business services (B2B), goods processing services and IT & C services generate the largest exports from Romania, being among the economic sectors that contribute to balancing Romania's trade balance, along with the exports of goods by the automotive industry," according to a press statement released by the Competition Council.
According to official data, Romania exported vehicles and vehicle parts (parts or tires) worth 32.1 billion euros in all (47.4pct of total Romanian exports of goods) in 2018.
At an aggregate level, Romania recorded a FOB/CIF trade deficit in goods of 15.1 billion euros in 2018, and a trade surplus in services of 8 billion euros, according to data with the National Bank of Romania Romania and Eurostat.
The CC analysis also shows that European Union countries are much more accessible to Romanian companies than to non-EU countries. Thus, the Competition Council study shows that the EU member states' national regulations are among the most equitable and open to foreign investment globally. This is due in particular to the principles of the single market, which guarantees the free movement of persons, goods and services all across the European Union. Romania ranks first in terms of openness to foreign investment and non-discrimination of the regulatory environment against foreign business operators.
The analysis is a pilot project as the Competition Council has been given new powers by setting up a specialist unit to identify potential barriers that may affect free competition by restricting or preventing access of Romanian companies from the domestic market and Romanian companies on the single European market, according to the Competition Authority.