Romania recorded a 29% slump in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first seven months of 2023 compared with the same period in 2022, according to a report published by the National Bank of Romania on 13 September.

According to the report, non-residents’ direct investments in Romania amounted to €4.25bn ($4.54bn) between January and July 2023, down from the €5.99bn recorded during the same period in 2022.

Of the €4.25bn recorded during the first half of 2023, net equity holdings reached €4.59bn, minus intra-group loans amounting to €343m.

Romania, alongside other central and eastern European (CEE) countries, experienced a surge in economic growth in the pre-Covid years, its economy increasing year on year between 2016 and 2019 before contracting by 3.7% in 2020 due to the pandemic.

In 2021, Bucharest recorded 215 inward FDI projects – the third-highest number of all CEE countries behind Poland (424) and Turkey (269).

However, when it came to FDI projects per million people, Romania lagged behind many other countries in the region. In 2021, the country ranked ninth in the CEE region, with only 11.2 projects per million people, far below Estonia, which was the CEE’s leading FDI destination per capita in 2021, with 27.1 projects per million people, according to GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database.

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