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The economic relations between Spain and Romania have increased at a steady pace during the last 10 years. This has been reflected both in the volume of trade between the two countries and in the increasing investments that Spanish companies have made in Romania during the recent years. Spanish construction and engineering companies have also shown a growing interest in the modernization of Romanian infrastructures in sector such as transport, water and others and its presence in the country has surged during the last three years.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Spanish origin increased more than five fold during 2004-2008 (from EUR 135M to EUR 700 M). As a consequence Spain climbed the ladder in the raking of foreign investors in Romania from the 17th to 8th and the number of companies present in the market more than tripled.

After a slight decline during 2009 -mainly due to the financial and economic crisis-, the situation changed in 2010 and the first months of 2011. In 2010, Spanish investments in Romania went up by more than EUR 340 million from 681 million Euro to 1,023 million, according to Rumanian statistics (National Trade Registry Office), positioning Spain 9th in the ranking of foreign investors with a 3.31 per cent of the total and 4,212 societies with Spanish shareholders. Real estate, renewable energies, manufacturing or services are the main sectors where the investments have been addressed.

Bilateral trade
In 2009 Romania’s exports to Spain increased to almost 800 million Euro, while Spain’s exports to Romania dropped to 700 million Euro from 1,049 million Euro the year before. In 2010 Romania’s exports kept increasing by 32 per cent against 2009 and reached 1,042 million Euro, while the Spanish exports to Romania totaled 873 million Euro, a 30% increase towards the same period in 2009. As a result Spanish trade balance with Romania presented a deficit of EUR 169 M, with a coverage rate of around 83%.

The situation has changed in 2011 where between January and July Spanish exports have risen 52% whereas Rumanian exports to Spain have decline 21%. As a result Spanish trade balance had a surplus of EUR 191 M and coverage rate (xs/ms*100) of 146%. In terms of trade volume 2011 is expected to be record year surpassing 2,000 million Euro.

The participation of many engineering and construction Spanish companies in the development of infrastructures financed via EU cohesion and structural funds is of increasing importance. Around EUR 237 million were awarded to Spanish companies through tenders in Romania during 2010, mostly in the transport sector, engineering, and water treatment plants as well as some other projects in agriculture, training, social services, consultancy, etc.

The completion of the works of the Basarab bridge by the Spanish company FCC in June or the recent award to CAF of the contract to supply 96 wagons for the Bucarest underground are a just a hint of the experience acquired by Spanish construction and engineering companies during the last 20 years in the development, finance and management of infrastructures in Spain and abroad and can be used for the benefit of the development of the Romanian infrastructures.

In this respect the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) together with the Commercial office of the Spanish Embassy and the Romanian ministry of Transport organized on the 4th of October a seminar on the opportunities and experience in the Romanian transport infrastructures sector. The seminar which counted with the presence of the minister of Transport, Ms. Anca Boagiu, and the Spanish Viceminister for Foreign Trade, Mr. Bonet, was an opportunity to know about the future plans of the government in the infrastructures sector and to share experiences and knowledge among the 90 participants.

The existence of circa 1 million Romanian citizens living in Spain in a difficult economic context with one of the highest unemployment rates of the EU, obliges Spanish construction companies to look for contracts outside the country. Considering the need for infrastructures of Romania, the existence of EU resources for its financing and the successful experience of Spain in developing a modern network of infrastructures during the last 20 years, it is a good opportunity for Romania to build on our experience and at the same time to contribute to the welfare of its national living working abroad.

Important agreements:
• Economic and Industrial Cooperation Agreement between Romania and Spain, signed on April 18, 1990, in force on October 3, 1991
• Agreement between Romania and Spain on promotion and reciprocal protection of investments, signed on January 25, 1995, in force on December 7, 1995.

The dynamics of trade(Million euro)
On December 31, 2010, the 2010 total trade between Romania and Spain was 2115,13 million Euro, accounting for 31,96% of which:
- 1131,51 million Euro exports (increase of 30,42% of the total achieved in 2009),
- Import 983,63 million Euro (increase of 33,78% of the total achieved in 2009)
- Euro 144,88 million in expense of Romania.

Commercial Trade structure to December 31, 2010:
Export: vehicles, aircraft and transport equipment (25%), machinery and equipment (21%), textiles-clothing (10,2%), wood, coal, wood, wicker (7%), chemical and allied products (6.8%), plastics, rubber and related items (7,2%), products of the plant kingdom (11,6%), live animals and products of animal kingdom (5,9%).

Import: cars, electrical appliances and equipment (34%), vehicles, aircraft and transport equipment (13,3%), articles of stone, plaster, cement, glass, ceramics (10%), chemical products and related (6,8%), textile-clothing (10,2%), base metals and metal products (10,6%), plastics, rubber and related items (4.4%), live animals and products of animal kingdom (5,4%).