Romania must remain competitive regionally and globally in the Business Services Industry

//Romania must remain competitive regionally and globally in the Business Services Industry

Press Release


August 16th, 2023

Romania must remain competitive regionally and globally in the Business Services Industry

The Business Services sector has continued to grow globally at an average of 6% over the past two years. After Asia, where approximately 45% of the total number of companies is concentrated, Central and Eastern Europe rank second in the world in terms of regions where this industry is developed, with approximately 31% of companies. Romania ranks 6th place worldwide among countries operating in this industry and 2nd place in Europe, after Poland. Currently, the number of employees in our industry accounts for more than 2% of the country’s active population.

“Romania still has many advantages to offer to investors in the business services industry. Among them is a timely cost of business and workforce development, even in the IT sector, with a smaller difference of 20% compared to Poland. The highest number of foreign languages in all CEE countries is spoken in Romania, which is considered one of the most significant advantages for diversifying services in BS sector (according to the latest ABSL Romania report, 23% of companies perform activities in 11–15 foreign languages, and 15% of companies cover 16–20 foreign languages). Furthermore, technology expertise constitutes an advantage”, says Nicoleta Apetrei, ABSL Vice-President.

The centres of excellence developed in the last two years bring solid expertise in areas such as IT, finance and accounting, procurement, still making Romania a preferred destination for high-value-added services.

However, Romania competes directly with countries from the CEE region (especially Poland and Hungary) in terms of available grants, fiscal incentives, and support for the business services industry.

While Romania provides support through fiscal incentives and employment policies, Poland and Hungary provide a set of measures that may seem more comprehensive, including equipment acquisition support and a higher grant value overall (100 million EUR in Poland versus 45 million EUR in Romania).

In Poland, non-refundable state financing ranges from 30–50% depending on the region, while in Romania, it ranges from 30–60%, reaching up to 70% for certain regions, thus creating a more attractive framework (even if these regions are not always suitable for the business services industry). The difference is that Poland lists seven industries of interest, with business services ranking high on the list. In Romania, fiscal incentives are granted for production, research and development, and IT.

“Romania’s competitiveness on the business services market is influenced by numerous factors, including educational system performance, a large number of foreign language speakers, IT knowledge, fiscal policies, daily living costs, labour costs, etc.

All these converge into a single point: the human resource, and if we lose it, this sector will not be able to develop. The growth of professionals in this industry and their retention in Romania ensure the guarantee of our future. I am convinced that for this reason, these priorities matter equally to companies in the sector and those influencing economic policies”, says Cătălin Iorgulescu, ABSL Vice-President.

According to ABSL, 70% of companies expect an increase in turnover in 2023, and 94% of companies believe that Romania offers numerous investment opportunities in this sector.

The most recent data indicates that the revenues generated by the business services industry amounted to 9 billion EUR. Additionally, this sector’s contribution to Romania’s GDP has exceeded the European average in recent years.

“The fact that we still have a high percentage of students in engineering and mathematics faculties helps us shape the future of this industry more clearly. We anticipate a growth of 10-15% in the number of employees by 2025 and an increased significance of smaller cities”, explains Ciprian Dan, ABSL President.