Romania: Establishing business contacts

The Romanian economy has been booming for several years. This has been especially noticeable in the automotive and electrical engineering industries. Since many German companies are working closer and closer with Romania, today we want to take a closer look at the cultural values of Romania and their influence on the business world.

Contrary to its common reputation, Romania has strongly developed over the last several years. Rich mineral deposits and natural resources [e.g., natural gas, salt and coal] put the country in an ideal position for international trade. On top of that, numerous reforms [for instance, regarding environmental protection] were recently passed that are currently being or will soon be implemented. There’s more going on in this southeastern European country than you might assume. This applies to the country’s economy as well, as salaries, education levels, the number of investors and the amount of international cooperations are continually increasing.

If you’re planning a joint project with Romanian partners, we recommend keeping the following things in mind:

The first thing you should know is that initiating contact digitally [e.g., via e-mail] in Romania tends to be unsuccessful. Make use of a mutual contact – assuming you have one – who can bring you into the fold. If you approach a potential Romanian partner this way, you’ll be acting on a significantly more personal level, which will establish trust more quickly. This is where your network comes into play.

When you express yourself…

cross-cultural training, Romania, cross-cultural training Romania, indirectness, network If you and your Romanian partners are meeting each other for the first time, you should win them over not only through facts and figures, but also through personality. Always remain friendly and professional, and try to exude self-confidence. The inner attitude of their business partners tends to be very important to Romanians. If something is off about it, it’ll be very difficult for you to conclude a business transaction.

It would also be to your advantage to express yourself more indirectly. People in Romania tend to beat around the bush, which is why Germans’ direct style of communication can easily be perceived as arrogant and patronizing. Negative and critical issues should also be addressed carefully for the same reason.

Language, generosity and holidays

On top of that, we’d like to give you three more useful tips to help with your contact with Romanians:

  • Most Romanian business partners have good knowledge of English, but it would still be useful for you to master a few nuggets of the Romanian language. The reason for this is less that communication generally tends to be carried on in Romanian. It’s more about signaling your willingness to adapt to your counterpart. A friendly greeting or expression of gratitude in Romanian will surely be well received, and it will also act as an icebreaker. Be brave!
  • Small gifts are happily accepted in Romania, and many Romanians find it very important to be generous and willing to help. Try to keep these values in mind, even in a business context [e.g., during business meals].
  • Holidays play an important role in the Romanian culture. Take advantage of the opportunity to show your knowledge about the meaning of different festivities. July 29, for instance, is National Anthem Day, and December 1 is Great Union Day. Your Romanian business partners would certainly be pleased if they received greetings from you on those days.

Regrettably, this blog post could only cover a few aspects of the Romanian culture and business world. Please keep in mind that these cultural values could be weighted differently depending on the region. If you’re leading a cross-cultural project team with Romanians or conducting negotiations with Romanian companies, we’d recommend a cross-cultural training tailored to your specific needs. You can find more exciting information about our offer at the following link.


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About Sophie Humpisch

I studied business communication and cross-cultural competence. During my studies I lived abroad for a long time and therefore experienced cross-cultural differences on my own. I have been with Eidam & Partner since 2014, being responsible for the support and recruiting of cross-cultural experts. Eidam & Partner offers worldwide services related to cross-cultural communication, such as cross-cultural training, cross-cultural coaching, eLearning and preparation for international assignments for more than 80 target countries.
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