The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the limits of global economic integration. Indeed, the shock of the trade disruptions that accompanied the sanitary emergency has revealed how vulnerable and dependent the Western economies are on Asia, for critical goods, such as medical equipment and other vital products that are so needed in times of major crises.
As result, governments are now encouraging companies to seek alternative production bases, in an effort to relocate at least some of their manufacturing operations elsewhere, closer to their home and/or targeted markets, thus sparking debates about the beginning of a new era of de-globalization and reduced economic interdependency.
“Romania can capitalize from the new global trade and investment trends that are happening now, in terms of expected relocations of some manufacturing capacities from Asia, having all the successful ingredients for international investors a country can offer, in the heart of the European Union”, told Ivan Lokere, CEO, Alinso Group, leading international real estate operator managing business and industrial parks across Europe, present locally through PWP Bucharest North.
There is a common understanding that some degree of supply diversification will be needed in the future as relying on a single production source for any item has proven highly risky for governments and multinational companies alike.
While some of the manufacturing operations leaving China will be relocated among other emerging markets in Asia, there will be also significant opportunities for European Union countries, like Romania, to host some of the industrial investments in search of new manufacturing markets.
”Romania has strong industrial and manufacturing know-how and capabilities, especially in automotive, energy, pharmaceuticals, other industries, and is well positioned to integrate itself further into the global supply chains after the pandemic”, added Ivan Lokere.
From the logistics perspective, Romania has a lot to offer, as the country is turning into a logistics hub for the entire Central and Eastern European (CEE) and Balkans region. Latest data on the stock of industrial and logistics spaces places Bucharest, for instance, as the most dynamic market in the CEE region, has now exceeded the 2 million square meters threshold, according to the real estate consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
One such example, Alinso Group’s PWP Bucharest North, the largest industrial park in South-East Europe, which covers a surface of over 300 ha, hosts about 60 tenants and over 3,000 employees from industries such are oil & gas, logistics, automotive, manufacturing, other. Benefiting from an intermodal terminal, railway services, and located in the immediate vicinity of the A3 Bucharest – Ploiesti highway, PWP Bucharest North shows how critical infrastructure really is for the development of Romania, with proven benefits for the local communities in which investors operate and for the country’s overall prosperity.
“Romania has a strategic opportunity ahead, and it is up to the business community, to the commerce chambers, authorities, to turn the current global context into an advantage“, concluded Ivan Lokere.
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