Romanians consider themselves as trustful business partners and they are very serious when speaking about business. They are professionals; many of them are holding MBA degrees in prestigious universities abroad. They are aware of the international business practice and they are studying the particularities of the potential partner before first meeting. Romanian business men pay respect to the foreign partners and expect to be treated in the same way.
Corporate social responsibility
According to the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), developed by a team of experts based at Yale and Columbia universities, Romania ranked as a weak performer in 88th place with a score of 48.34 in 2012.
In recent years, Romanian authorities have turned their attention to environmental issues by introducing new environmental regulations to control pollution from factories, strategies for adopting environmentally-responsible behaviours and environmental certification schemes.
Romania is beginning to invest heavily in renewable energy programmes and establish new organisations and associations to oversee the rapid growth in this area, such as the Romanian Wind Energy Association (RWEA).
The Romanian Ministry of Environment is enforcing measures and monitors the environment protection. The applied role is “polluter pays” that means penalties paid by the companies that pollutes. Companies interested in implementing non polluting technologies and environmentally-friendly production processes are supported and encouraged by the Government. National programs, part of them co-financed by European Union were developed to improve the networks of water, roads infrastructure, electricity, gas. Waste management measures were settled for a better waste water treatment, waste collection and recycling. Being part of several conventions regardless the environment protection Romanian authorities focused on the citizens’ education and legislation to contribute to a climate of environmental conservation.
In Romania, punctuality is considered a strength when doing business and it is important to arrive at the appointed time, or even a little earlier, for a meeting.
If you are going to be late for any reason, it is important to call ahead and apologise for the delay. Due to the heavy traffic and lack of parking spaces, it is advisable to allow plenty of extra travel time.
In Romania, when invited to a business meeting by a Romanian partner, arriving with a small gift is considered polite. The gift does not have to be very expensive (up to 100 Lei). Should the guest be a foreigner, the recommended gift is a traditional object from the visitor’s country. These gifts are considered a sign of international cooperation and are usually opened immediately.
Business dress code
The dress code is dictated by the formality of the business meeting. For a formal meeting, where business is to be discussed between people that have not met before, it is important to present a highly professional image. A conservative style would be most appropriate, in the form of a tailored business suit with elegant tie or accessories. For women, skirt length should be at or below the knee and jewellery should be elegant and discreet.
In a more casual setting, such as a business lunch, outfits can be more relaxed and tend towards the business casual style. Casual business attire may include jacket and jeans for men, and a suit skirt and blouse or knee-length dress for women.
Smart casual would be the most casual form of attire that you would need on a business visit and would mostly be appropriate when sightseeing or dining out in a casual situation.
For ceremonial or highly prestigious social events, there will be a very specific dress code that must be followed and you should pay attention to the invitation or ask your host, to ensure that you are dressed appropriately. In general, it is recommended to avoid wearing flashy colours or outlandish outfits, earrings, hair dyed in striking colours or extreme styles, or excessive use of perfume.
Bribery and corruption
During January and February of 2011, the fraud investigation department coordinator (FIDS) at Ernst & Young commissioned a survey to reflect Romanians point of view on corruption and bribery.
The survey found that 88% of respondents believed that bribery and corruption were widespread practices, and 56% said the recession had created conditions that led to increasing levels of corruption.
Given that 31% of respondents believed that bribery was a common practice used to win contracts, it is clear that unethical behaviour is still tolerated, if not encouraged. 48% of Romanian participants also believed that providing personal gifts of money or entertainment could be justified, as long as they contributed to business development.
Romanian companies are aware of the concept of fraud by their employees, and bribery and corruption are recognised as significant problems.