Romanian business culture
Did you know about business culture in Romania? Watch this video animation to find out some interesting facts:
Romania is the largest of the countries of south-eastern Europe with a surface area of 238,391 km2. It is bordered to the north by the Ukraine, by Hungary to the north-west, by Bulgaria and Serbia to the south and south-west, where the natural borders are defined mainly by the River Danube, by the Republic of Moldova to the east along the River Prut and by the shores of the Black Sea to the north-west.
Romania became a sovereign state in 1859, when Moldavia and Wallachia were united under the rule of Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza, and independence was achieved in 1878. In 1918, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia joined the Kingdom of Romania and the interwar period between 1918 and 1939 saw the largest territorial expansion in the history of Romania. Following the abdication of King Mihai in December 1947, Romania became a Republic; until 1965 when it fell under control of the Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and socialist party. The collapse of the communist regime and execution of Ceausescu in 1989 paved the way for Romania to adopt a new constitution and transition to a market economy.
The current population of Romania is 19 million inhabitants in 2022, with 1.8inhabitants living in Bucharest, the capital city. Romania has a number of cities with large populations, namely: Cluj-Napoca , Timisoara and Constanta.
Romania’s main ethnic groups are Romanian (88.6%), Hungarian (6.5%), Roma (3.2%) and the remaining 1.4% of the population is made up of Ukrainians, Germans, Turks, Russians and Lipovani Tartars.
Romania is a secular state but still a predominantly Christian country with Romanian Orthodox representing 86.8% of the population followed by Roman Catholics at 4.5%, Reformed at 3.7%, Pentecostals at 1.5%, Greek Catholic at 0.9%, Baptists at 0.6% and Islamic Minorities at 0.3%.
The official language of Romania is Romanian and its official currency is the Romanian Leu (RON). The current exchange rate is approximately 4.45 Leu to the Euro. Romania is in the Eastern European Time Zone and adheres to EET (UTC +2) during the winter and EEST (UTC +3) during the summer.
Romania has become a member of various international organizations: the United Nations in 1955, the EBRD and OECD in 1991, the OSCE and OIF in 2003, NATO in 2004 and the European Union since January 1st, 2007. Romania’s main trading partners are members of the European Union, as well as China and Russia, with most exports going to Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, Hungary and the UK.
For more information about Romania, please see:
Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Romania
Romanian hospitality is very well known and they have a kind and friendly attitude towards visitors.
Most people who live in the urban areas know at least one foreign language (English, German or French), which helps to easily overcome any language barriers.
Romanians are reliable business partners who respect their signed contracts, deliver to the agreed terms and pay their debts.
International business in Romania
This section examines the general business environment of Romania focusing on the attitudes and values of the Romanian people, followed by details of the education system, training and placement opportunities in Romania.
This section is intended to equip you with the basic ‘ground rules’ for doing business in Romania to ensure that you are sufficiently able to deal with most of the business situations that you may encounter.
The Romanian education system follows the typical stages of preschool, primary and secondary education leading up to the Baccalaureate, after which students may choose to proceed to a higher education institution.
Primary enrolment is at age of 6 and it is compulsory for first 10 years. After 8 years – the primary school, they can decide to continue in a high school for next 4 years or to continue on the same school next 2 years.
The admission in high schools is based on the results of previous years and options and it is made on a national level. High schools could be theoretical (history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, foreign languages, biology etc.) or technical (informatics, telecommunication, mechanics etc.). The high school graduation is done by passing a baccalaureate exam. Small part of the scholars are choosing to follow the trade schools and to joint the labour force.
In Romania, the higher education system is structured according to three levels of university: stage 1 (license) which corresponds to a bachelor’s degree, stage 2 (degree/specialization) equivalent to a master’s degree and stage 3 (PhD or Doctorate). The admission in higher education requests a baccalaureate diploma and differs from one university to another. It is based on the baccalaureate results or includes an additional knowledge test.
Generally Romanians attends in a large rate to higher education and majority gets master or doctoral degrees.
In Romania, there is no governing body or central organisation that administers student employment or placement opportunities for foreign students.
Each university has different ways to ensure job offers reach their students, including:
- allowing interested companies to advertise their job offers through faculty websites and bulletin boards;
- allowing company representatives to attend workshops, seminars, debates inside the university;
- organising student job fairs for companies to interact with the student population;
- allowing companies to recruit students for training sessions in order to develop their practical abilities.
Students internship is compulsory and it is usually organised by the universities through partnerships with companies, public bodies etc. Sometimes students associations contribute or organise the placement. This work is mostly unpaid.
Other issues such as transport infrastructure
Travelling by Train
The national rail operator is Romanian Railways, which operates the network with other private transportation companies covering 22,247 km of track and connecting all the major cities.
Travelling by Car
The road network in Romania is made up of motorways, express ways, national roads, country roads, and local roads, which totalled 82,386km in 2010. Since Romania’s accession to the EU, plans and funding have been put in place to double the Romanian road network by 2015 and major construction projects are already under way.
Travelling by Taxi
In major cities, there are at least one taxi company. Taxis can be hailed on the street, found at taxi ranks at the local station or ordered by telephone. The hire charges for a taxi depend on the city and the taxi company, but they must be displayed in a highly visible place in the cab and on the inside of the passenger’s door.
The average cost of a fare is the passenger fee, generally equivalent to the cost of travelling one kilometre, and then a rate per kilometre of between 1.4 to 2 Lei. In Bucharest, a taxi fare from the airport to the city centre would cost between 300 to 500 Lei, depending on the route and level of traffic.
For safety reasons, it is best to avoid unsolicited offers from private individuals who are not with a regulated taxi company. It is also important to ask the driver for a price before getting into the taxi and be aware that the rates will increase during public holidays and at night.
Travelling by Plane
The largest airports in Romania are located in Bucharest and Cluj and have connections to airports all over the world.
In Romania, there are no real taboos. However, there are some subjects that could cause offence and should be avoided, including talking about the Communist regime or jokes about the Roma peoples.
At business meetings, it is important to behave in a polite and appropriate manner, paying attention to good etiquette. Things such as chewing gum, smoking without your partner’s consent, or drinking directly from a bottle could offend your counterpart and jeopardize the business relationship.
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