Out of work in the West, starting business in Romania

“Since the economies in the developed European countries collapsed, many are interested in bringing their money and expertise they gained there back to start a business in Romania. Lately, the economic climate in Romania has not provided many opportunities for this, but, even if they are few, serious Romanians still want to do business in Romania,” Marius Bostan, Senior Partner of VMB Partners advisory company, said.

Remittances to Romania by people who work abroad fell by one fifth in the first seven months, to €3.7 billion. In July alone, the decline was sharper, at 47 percent, to €372 million from €705 mln.

For lack of a well-paying job in Romania, some Romanians who decide to return prefer starting their own businesses with money they saved when they were away.

Fields returnees are interested in investing their money are construction, renewable energy, infrastructure, and waste management. The highest unemployment benefits paid in Romania go to Romanians who worked abroad, who earned this right in the countries in which they worked.

Although figures indicate that more than 3 million Romanians went abroad in the past few years, mostly to Italy and Spain, two countries severely affected by the global economic crisis, only a few thousand Romanians returned home since the beginning of 2009, and 124 of these are receiving their unemployment benefits here.

According to data provided by the National Employment Agency (ANOFM), the value of the 124 unemployment benefits received by Romanians who worked abroad ranges from RON 5,600-1,500 (€1,333 – €357). “In Spain, the government made the decision to allow immigrants to return voluntarily to their countries of origin, to look for a job for three months, without losing their unemployment benefit,” the President of the Association of Immigrants from Eastern Countries (AIPE), Angela Placsintar, said.

According to official statistics, some 700,000 Romanians live in Spain, while unofficial figures put the figure at more than 1 million, with over 40 percent currently out of work, said the AIPE official.

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