How Will Brexit Affect Business With Romania?

How Will Brexit Affect Business With Romania?

Exports to Romania Continue to Increase Despite Uncertainties over Brexit

Romania is one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe, and exports from the UK are increasing every year. Will Brexit damage these important trade links? Since joining the European Union in 2007, Romania has seen unprecedented economic growth. This has also spelt good new for UK exporters, and trade between the two countries has never been better. The result of the EU referendum back in June has led many to wonder how such important trade links might be affected by Brexit. While there are still more questions than answers, there can be no doubt that shipping to Romania will still be a core business strategy for a growing number of UK companies.

Trade With Romania

More than 4,700 UK companies operate in Romania, a number that rises year on year. The country is seen by many as a gateway to additional markets in the CIS and Balkans, and as such it is one of the key trading posts in Eastern Europe. The majority of freight is transported by road, and frequent groupage shipments from the UK make this an attractive option to exporters, large and small. UK exports reached an all-time high of £1.36 billion in 2015, up 17.5% on the previous year and representing almost 3% of Romanian imports. Bilateral trade was worth almost £3 billion. This makes the UK Romania's 11th largest inward investor. Romania has major development plans for the coming years, not least its General Transport Master Plan, which was approved in February 2015. This sets out ambitious infrastructure development aims that represent more than €45 billion of investment over the next five years. The plan includes significant development to road, rail and air links, as well as major upgrades to the key ports of Constanta and Galati. The opportunities for UK companies are obvious.

What about Brexit?

There is naturally concern as to how the Great Britain's exit from the European Union will affect trade with Europe. Despite the recent High Court ruling regarding Article 50, the Government is still insisting that this will happen in March 2017. From that point, Britain will have a two-year window in which to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU. This will be a complex procedure, but the good news is that it will only have to be done once. It will not be necessary to negotiate separate agreements with each country within the UK. In reality, two years should be more than enough time to get this in place, and even if it is not, there is the possibility to extend the deadline. There is also the possibility of additional tariffs and quotas being imposed on trade between Great Britain and the EU, but this question will also be resolved in the overriding trade deal.

Growth and Opportunity

Without a doubt, Brexit presents additional challenges to what are already difficult financial conditions. However, the positives presented will continue to outweigh the problems. A falling pound and a growing market still mean that Romania presents a world of opportunities for trading partners in the UK. Logistically, as trade continues to grow even better groupage deals will become available, strengthening relationships even further.