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3.3.7 Center Region

Image 3.22:

Romania’s Development Center – Regiunea Centru

Regiunea Centru - The Development Region Center in Romania

Source: ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagine:C_dr_ro.png

The Development Region Center in Romania lies in Transylvania and consists of six counties (Alba, Brașov, Covasna, Harghita, Mureș and Sibiu). Together they cover 14.3 % of the Romanian territory and are domicile to 2.53 millions of inhabitants (11.7 % of the total population). About 11.9 % of the GDP of Romania was generated in the heart of Transylvania in 2005 (INS 2008, own calculations). GDP per capita in 2006 reached 4,725 € in the Center Region which could grow up to 8,451.9 € by 2010 according to CNP forecasts (CNP 2008 a: 13). 2006 some 45 % of regional GDP were created in the services sector (39.3 % of employment), 35 % in the industry and construction sector (34 % of employment) and 12 % by agriculture (26.7 % of employment). Only two of the six counties featured 2005 a (slightly) lower GDP per capita than the national average (these are Harghita with 93.49 % and Covasna with 96.74 %; INS 2008, own calculations); the other four counties are well above: Alba: 104.62 %, Mureș: 108.87 %, Sibiu: 125.59 % and Brașov: 134.55 % (ibid, own calculations).

Despite the relative high GDP per capita in the Center Region, the regional average salary tends to be lower than the national average while unemployment tends to be higher than the national average (5.2 % for 2006 and 4.1 % for 2007; INS 2008). Unemployment (4.9 % for the region) ranged in 2007 from 3.2 % in Sibiu to 7.2 % in Covasna (INS 2008). While unemployment decreased over the last years the occupation rate in the Center Region remained constant (in contrast to other flourishing regions and counties such as West and Timiș). This might contribute to a viable migration potential in the Center Region, especially of the younger generations, which continued even after the exodus of the Transylvanian Saxons around 1990. The Center Region population holds demand deposits in foreign currencies of 120 millions of Euros, which even grew by 31 % in the first 5 month of 2007 when rather a decrease would have to be expected (due to several holidays).

A well developed infrastructure[1] concerning both railways and roads, two airports (Târgu-Mureș and Sibiu, a third airport in Brașov will be finished in the next time) and an already diversified industry sector helped to attract about 7.7 % (2.559 billions of Euros, 1,010 € per capita; cf. ADRC 2008) of total Romanian FDI-inflows. Business activities seem to be concentrated on the SME-level as FDI is spread over 12,800 enterprises. The FDI-inflows helped to endure the restructurations of the last years. Nearly all branches are to be found in Transylvania, a traditional strong developed region with Brașov and Sibiu as front- runners:

„În centrul României, industria s-a dezvoltat mai devreme decât în alte zone ale țării. Meșteșugurile practicate din vechime au încurajat apariția unor centre industriale importante … cele mai dezvoltate activități din reginue sunt industria construcțiilor de mașini și a prelucrării metalelor, industria chimică, cea a materialelor de construcții, a prelucrării lemnului, extractivă, textilă și alimentară“ (NewsIn 2008: 118).[2]

According to NewsIn 2008 there is still much potential for further investments in the future. Especially the touristic potential is believed to be immense but hampered by inferior hotel services and the absence of respective development plans. The region’s top list of enterprises (NewsIn 2008: 116) is dominated by Brașov (11) and the cultural Capital of Europe 2007 – Sibiu (7) –, which contribute over 50 % of the top rated firms. They are followed by Alba (5), Mureș (4), Harghita (2) and Covasna (1).

Academic Research paper and Study of the Economy of Romania and Romanian Business

The public administration was tracked in the three cities Brașov (county Brașov, 18 points), Târgu-Mureș (county Mureș, 19 points) and Sibiu (county Sibiu, 17 points) and first ranked, together with the North-West Region as both regions gained an overall score of 18 points from 20 possible.


[1] These are not always reflected in official statistics. There are counties featuring a higher railway or road density than e.g. Sibiu. On the other hand, these statistics do not take into account which of the roads are really needed and frequented for business activities. In particular, the region profits a lot from its strategic position as an intersection of main transports routes, both railways and highways and is crossed by three European Roads (cf. NewsIn 2008: 118).

[2] “In the center of Romania, the industry developed earlier than in other parts of the country. Handcrafts, practiced from ancient times encouraged the development of strong industrial centers … Today, the most developed activities are the car construction industry, metal processing, wood manufacturing, production of construction materials, the extractive and chemical industry, textile and food industry” (NewsIn 2008: 265; SH].