Hampshire firms offered keys to unlock Romanian export trade

Firms keen to sell into one of Europe’s most lucrative emerging economies are being offered ‘on the ground’ office and exhibition space via Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

A purpose-built business complex in the Romanian city of Craiova has been made available so Hampshire exporters can showcase products and services to potential buyers from across the Balkan state.

The opportunity has been brokered by the Chamber and trading initiative BRIDGE, the British Romanian International Gateway Exchange, under an agreement with Craiova’s city leaders.

Craiova is the capital and main industrial centre of the Dolj region. Key business sectors include car manufacture, aeronautics, defence, chemicals processing, mining, agriculture, electrical and transport equipment, construction and telecommunications.

Hampshire Chamber’s Executive Director Maureen Frost said: “Companies in Hampshire that want to explore potential sales or partnerships in Romania’s diversified economy can use space in the Craiova Exhibition Centre to interact directly with potential customers. We already have interest from exporters working in the IT, manufacturing, tourism and food sectors.”

The European Union recently confirmed a €40 billion, seven-year framework budget for Romania including a €4 billion package of measures specifically designed to stimulate the economy.

Romania is the eighth biggest country in the EU by area and, with more than 20 million people, the seventh largest by population.

BRIDGE Director Calin Huma said: “The potential market in the region consists of more than 100 local authorities and 14,000 companies active in all aspects of industry. Romania is a huge investment market that is far from saturated. As well as potential buyers, there are many small and medium enterprises willing to engage in partnerships. We also have large multinationals such as Ford and Honeywell who are investing in supply chains and production capabilities.”

Once exporters have arranged their space and display at the exhibition centre, they can access ongoing help through a BRIDGE partnership with the University of Craiova. The exhibitor is invited to train a business marketing student to represent their firm, manage the space, refer potential customers and provide regular reports on enquiries.

Fees starting from £275 a month will depend on the nature and complexity of the product and service and the amount of exhibition space involved. Hampshire Chamber members benefit from a 30% discount.

Exporters must pay their travel and hotel accommodation as well as the costs of transporting their products and exhibition materials to and from Romania.

The Craiova Exhibition Centre is one of 25 such centres designed for business use across Romania. The venue is the newest and second biggest after a centre in the country’s capital, Bucharest.

Firms interested in the initiative should email [email protected] or contact Maureen Frost at Hampshire Chamber on 01329 242420 or [email protected].