MEDIA RELEASE

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade



D40

28 APRIL 97

ROMANIAN REFORMS BRING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

The next session of the Australia-Romania Joint Commission (ARJC) will be held in Sydney 1-2 May. The Commission brings together key officials and business people from both sides with the objective of promoting two-way trade and investment. The Romanian side will be led by the Secretary of State for Communications, Mr Dumitru Moinescu.

The meeting is the first since elections held in Romania late last year brought to power a new administration. The new government, headed by Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea, has embarked upon an ambitious reform program designed to open up and reinvigorate the economy and to promote Romania as a destination for foreign investment.

Until the change of government, Romania was lagging behind most of the Central European countries in its efforts to make the transition from a centrally-planned to a market economy and ultimately to achieve membership of the European Union.

The Ciorbea Government has committed itself to reducing tariffs, deregulation of foreign investment and acceleration of the privatisation process. Although Romania is Australia's largest single export market in Central and Eastern Europe, trade is concentrated in a few traditional commodities. The reforms introduced by the new government should sign)ficantly increase the scope to diversify Australia's export profile.

Australian investment in Romania, which is estimated at $250 million, is also expected to grow as a result of the changes.

Areas of opportunity for Australian companies include: financial services; agricultural technology and techniques; food processing, packaging, storage and marketing; environmental technology; business consulting services; quality management; private insurance; mining equipment and technology; information technology; telecommunications; tourism; land titling; and government services.

For further information: Jason Robertson on (06) 261 2974