Foreign direct investment in Romania has risen dramatically over the past decade — by over 600% since 2000. Investors are attracted mainly by relatively inexpensive and very high quality labor, low taxes, a 16% flat tax for individuals and companies as well as no dividend taxes, ideal geographic location and a liberal labor code. In 2005, the country created more favorable conditions for IT and research centers. Large strategic investors in Romania include Finland’s Nokia, Austria’s Erste Bank, Gaz de France and Renault, among other household names.
The real estate market has in recent years also been an attractive destination for foreign capital seeking value, with groups like NCH Capital, which manages capital for leading US pension funds, university endowments and other institutional investors, having led the way for the past fifteen years. NCH, founded in 1993 by George Rohr and Moris Tabacinic and whose real estate track record in Romania is unrivaled, has set the standard for more recent entrants like HSBC, which recently invested in the Expo Market Doraly trade counter and warehouse park in Bucharest. According to HSBC’s David Hunt, fund manager at HSBC, “the site is already well established among the local wholesaler community, not just in Bucharest but further afield in Romania too, and we intend to help our partners realize the full potential of this strategically located park, which will improve further on completion of planned ring-road improvements to provide an exceptional trading environment.”