We started this week in Oradea, Bihor County, for an AmCham Trade Mission to North-Western Romania.
We started this week in Oradea, Bihor County, for an AmCham Trade Mission to North-Western Romania. Over the last few years, Oradea and the Bihor region became an emerging economic center and are now competing for investments, both local and foreign, with long-established regional economies throughout the country. The 1-day trade mission we organized aimed to highlight the business growth opportunities the region offers, as well as bring our members more clarity on the priorities of the local community and the planned investments to make Oradea and the wider Bihor County a better home for businesses looking to expand operations in Romania.
The AmCham team was joined by member companies in the agriculture, constructions, IT&C, services and transport and logistics sectors, as well as by representatives of the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest. We were honored to meet local decision-makers, visit business infrastructures, and connect with the local business community. We at AmCham Romania also took the opportunity to visit some of our member companies which call Oradea home and to pay tribute to the local cultural diversity, following our trade mission.
Here's the wrap up of our local engagements on February 27th and 28th:
We started our visit to Oradea with a meeting with the Director of Oradea International Airport and the General Director of the Oradea Local Development Agency (ADLO), who were our hosts for a brief visit to the cargo terminal built in the vicinity of the runway. The logistics infrastructure for the cargo terminal is mostly operational, with a few large logistics companies already operating on the premises. The cargo facility is currently undergoing the regulatory certification phases and is expected to become completely operational in the near future, promising to bring new business opportunities to the region by connecting it with the rest of the world through air shipments.
We formally kicked off our trade mission at the Oradea City Hall, where we were hosted by Mr. Mircea Mălan, Vicepresident of the Bihor County Council and Mr. Florin Birta, Mayor of Oradea. The dialogue with the local authorities was a fantastic opportunity for AmCham member companies to learn about the projects that are underway in the region and gather a few insights into the local development strategy.
Bihor County is increasing its efforts to promote local products, including its cultural heritage, to the wider national and international markets and is working closely with the local business sector to attract new investments and increase its added value exports. Special consideration is given to investments in education, particularly in dual education, to ensure that the wider region benefits of a competitive and properly skilled workforce that can incentivize high added value investments. Another topic of significant importance for the County Council is mobility, and the region is expected to see in the upcoming years the completion of infrastructure projects, including a high-speed road connection to the EU highway network, new metropolitan belt roads as well as modern road connections for the communities in the Oradea Metropolitan Area.
The Oradea City Hall is focusing its efforts on bringing new innovative and R&D oriented businesses in its generous industrial parks scattered across the Metropolitan Area. The City Hall is also working closely with the County Council to coordinate efforts on promoting tourism to the region and is paying attention to digitization and digital transformation projects. The strategy to engage more investors revolves around building a strong partnership between the private sector and the local administration through accessible public services and reduced waiting times for licensing and permits. The city also established a Local Development Agency specifically tasked with assisting investors throughout the entire investment process.
From the City Hall, we went to meet teachers and students at the “Emanuil Gojdu” National College, one of the most prestigious schools in Oradea, where we learned about the efforts that the local community is putting into preparing the younger generations for the future. We were greeted by the schools’ robotics club which showcased some of the fantastic work they are doing in building small robots and teaching students about automation and technology.
The second part of our trade mission was really designed to give us an in-depth understanding of local investments and was comprised of a series of site visits to local businesses that benefited from the use of available EU structural funding, as well as to the largest industrial park in the Metropolitan Area:
Ms. Alina Silaghi, General Director of the Oradea Local Development Agency was our guide on a bus tour of the Industrial Park 1, which is now extending its facilities to include healthcare, fitness and education infrastructure for employees.
We were also hosted by one of the region’s largest logistics operators that is working with the local authorities on building a brand-new intermodal (rail and road) transport hub close to the border with Hungary.
The highlight of our site visits was one of the local fish farms that is producing caviar for the European markets and is actively working on developing its offer and beginning export operations to the U.S. We want to thank them for their warm welcome and for treating us to some of their fantastic products.
The trade mission concluded with a social local networking evening, where AmCham member companies, local enterprises and other local stakeholders got together for friendly talks and informal business discussions. We extend our gratitude to our local partners at the ReWine Bistro, who generously hosted us for this final event of the day.
February 28th started with a “SelectUSA Investment Summit” breakfast offered by AmCham to member companies who stayed overnight and to local businesses and entrepreneurs interested in expanding to the U.S. market. Our colleagues at the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest gave the participants all the details for registering and participating in the “SelectUSA Investment Summit”, which will take place May 1-4, 2023 near Washington, D.C.
In recognition of the cultural diversity of Oradea, we stopped by one of the local synagogues and met the President of the Jewish Community in Oradea, to learn about the U.S. support in rebuilding the synagogue. We were also treated to a full account of the recent history of the local Jewish community, as well as to details about the contributions the community made to the development of Oradea and its plans to revitalize and preserve their cultural and religious heritage and to enrich the social life of the community.
The rest of the day was spent in Băile Felix, where we met local entrepreneurs and visited recently built healthcare facilities as well as thermal water resorts that Bihor is so famous for.
We could not forget our amazing members, Creatopy and Sterycicle, who were generous enough to welcome us during our stay in Oradea and show us their facilities and business operations there.
Following a visionary plan, Creatopy now can really take pride in operating in a brand new wooden passive building, the largest of its kind in our part of Europe, and the company is the perfect example that creativity, imagination, nature and business can wonderfully go hand in hand.
Stericycle strongly illustrates the strength of the economic ties between the U.S. and Romania, having recently completed and started operating a USD 1.6 million investment in a medical waste management facility in Oradea, adding to the 5 already existing plants in Romania.
As we wrap up our two days in Oradea, we want to thank all our local partners and hosts who made our visit and stay there a wonderful, rich, and informative experience, as well as our member companies who joined the AmCham and the U.S. Embassy teams for our trade mission.
AmCham Romania remains firmly committed to facilitating meaningful engagements with the local communities across Romania, to promote local economic development that increases the investment profile of all Romanian regions and contributes to strengthening the country’s global competitiveness.
To learn more about our outreach initiatives and activity, please do not hesitate to contact Manuel Cazac, Business Growth & Outreach Programs Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.