Harlequin was founded in 1949. In its early years the company published a wide range of American and British paperbacks, including mysteries, Westerns, and cookbooks. It was not until 1957 that Harlequin began buying rights from Mills & Boon, a British publisher of romance fiction that started in 1909. Mary Bonny castle, wife of the founder, noticed the enormous popularity of "these nice little books with happy endings," and suggested the company concentrate on them. By 1964 Harlequin was publishing romance fiction exclusively!" (Harlequin history). The company wants to export the Harlequin Romance Stories to Eastern Europe, Romania being the first country Harlequin chose to trade their products with.
Romania! SS became independent following the 1878 Berlin Congress. It gained territory after World War I, but lost some to the Soviet Union and Bulgaria in 1940. When Soviet troops entered the country in 1944, King Michael dismissed the pro-German regime and backed the Allies!" (Freedom house 1-3). In 1945, he was forced to accept a Communist-led coalition government. The autarkic economics and repressive governance of Communist strongman Nicolae Ceausescu devastated Romania during his rule from 1965 to 1989. On December 25, 1989, Ceausescu was tried and executed following a popular uprising and palace coup by disgruntled Communists.
A provisional government was formed under President Ion Iliescu, a high-ranking Communist and leader of the National Salvation Front (NSF). The 1992 parliamentary elections saw the NSF split between neo-Communist and more reformist members. ! SSIn November 1996, the reformer, Emil Constantinescu, of the Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR), defeated Iliescu with 54. 41 percent of the votes while Ion Iliescu scored 45.
59 percent in the presidential elections. The CDR won 122 seats in the chamber of deputies (lower house) and 53 seats in the senate. Iliescu! |s Party of Social Democracy of Romania (PDS R) won 91 seats in the lower house and 41 seats in the senate!" (Freedom 1-3). Victor Ciorbea, a lawyer, former labor leader, and ex-mayor of Bucharest, was chosen prime minister to lead the coalition government. In March 1998, Ciorbea resigned and Radu Vasile, secretary general of the National Peasant Party Christian Democratic became prime minister.
! SS Romania! |s frustration about its economic position has created a lack of confidence and support for Constantinescu! |s coalition government (CDR), which is comprised of National Peasant Party Christian Democrats (PNT CD), Social Democrats (USD), Liberals (PNL), and ethnic Hungarians (UDMR)!" (Freedom, 1-3). In December, Constantinescu dismissed Prime Minister Vasile after ten of the seventeen cabinet members had resigned. Vasile was accused of failing to speed up economic reforms and improve living conditions. The head of the Central Bank of Romania (BNR), Mugu r Isar escu, replaced Vasile as prime minister. The latest opinion poll in December shows Iliescu leading with 40 percent and Constantinescu trailing at 23 percent. The economy is in its third consecutive year of contraction, having suffered severe weather conditions and trade losses resulting from blocked shipping on the Danube due to the Kosovo war.
! SSThe IMF also had posed strict conditions for the disbursement of a loan of US$547 million this year, including adopting a budget with a deficit of no more than 2. 5 percent of gross domestic product and obtaining US$350 million in private loans before signing the deal!" (Freedom house 1-3). The government met another demand; the absorption by Banca Comercial a Romana of the state Banco rex bank. The IMF loan enabled Romania to receive US$325 million in World Bank loans and US$207 million in credits from the EU, all of which helped to avoid default on Romania! |s external debt of US$2. 2 million and the restructuring of Romania! |s privatization program!" (Freedom house, 1-3).
Economic restructuring remains to be carried out before Romania can achieve its hope of joining the European Union. It was located in! SS Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine!" (CIA, 1). The climate was! S Scold, cloudy winter with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms!" (CIA, 1). The terrain of Romania was! SS central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Plain of Moldavia on the east by the Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachia n Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps!" (CIA, 1). Family plays an important role in the day-to-day lives of Romanians.
Children are considered important in a marriage. Most families have one or two children except the Romany people or Gypsies, who tend to marry earlier and have more children. ! Small Romanian men serve in the army from ages 19-21. Usually they do not marry until after their army service. The age of marriage for city dwellers is older than that of rural people!" (Romania Family life, 1). Most weddings in Romania include civil and religious ceremonies.
In the past, married children stayed with their parents. Now increasingly young couples live on their own. Children usually look after their parents in their old age. Only those without children or any close relatives go to nursing homes.
! SS Over 56% of Romania's population lives in the lowlands of the country!" (Romania Family life, 1). Cities offer a wide range of opportunities for young people to meet. In rural settings, sometimes a traditional dance known as the Hora was a way for men and women to meet. Romanians practise equality between men and women at home.
This is true more in urban than in rural settings. In the cities, most women work outside the home. Most decisions within the family are made together. Men and women are involved in almost all activities of family life as well as public life. ! SS Traditionally, around December 20 th, it was common for families to slaughter a pig at dawn and spend the rest of the day preparing bacon and sausages!" (Romania Family life, 1). The urban lifestyle of Romanians is similar to that of other people of Europe.
Older people still preserve their customs while the younger generation follows the general cultural trends of today's changing world. ! SS As of the late 1980 s, compulsory education began at age six and concluded at sixteen. Despite considerable differences in quality between rural and urban schools, the first four years were fairly standard for all students and consisted of a general program taught by teachers trained in three-year pedagogical institutes. As part of the de-Sovietization program, compulsory study of Russian had been dropped, and the traditional Soviet five-point marking system had been replaced with a ten-point system. Many students did study foreign languages, however, usually beginning in the fifth grade!" (Romania Primary education, 1). English and French were the most popular choices.
In grades five through eight, students began to specialize and were encouraged to start learning trades. Teachers for students at this level were primarily university-trained. ! SS Secondary education, of which two years were compulsory, allowed the students three options. The general secondary schools lasted four years and were geared toward preparing students for the university.
These schools could concentrate on a specific field of study, such as economics or music or on a particular foreign language. Four- and five-year technological secondary schools trained technicians and industrial managers. Two- and three-year vocational high schools extolled by the regime, trained skilled workers. Most primary school graduates attended vocational schools. Education at the secondary level clearly reflected a technical bias!" (Romania Secondary Education, 1). In the late 1980 s, the regime claimed that more than 40 percent of graduates of specialized schools went on to higher education.
However, most peasant and worker families sent their children for some sort of vocational training, whereas the social and political elite secured a general secondary education, usually a college degree, and a higher social niche for their offspring. ! SS This re stratification of the education system bred resentment among the working class and was troublesome for the regime's goal of educational democratization!" (Romania Secondary Education, 2). Another major problem was the growth in credential ism that in turn created a greater demand for more post-secondary education of all types. Nevertheless, the occupations most necessary for economic development were among the least sought, and the gap between the needs of the economy and the aspirations of young people widened. The majority of young Romanians wished to pursue higher education, even as education institutions were channeling students into production as skilled workers with specialized training.
Despite remarkable expansion in education at the primary level and increased numbers of secondary school graduates, the transition to mass higher education did not occur. Competition for entry to universities and other institutions of higher learning was extremely intense, and the procedures for admission were strict and complicated. ! SS Despite an impressive network of universities, technical colleges, academies, and conservatories, only 8 percent of those eligible for higher education were permitted to enroll!" (Romania Higher Education, 1). The central government allocated slots based on predicted demand for given occupations. Stringent entrance exams eliminated a large number of applicants.
! SS Some 90 percent of freshmen entering one university department had private tutoring for eight years before taking the tests!" (Romania Higher Education, 1). It was because the exams were tailored to the course of study, as early as the fifth grade students began planning their specializations, so that they could devote the last four years of elementary school and four years of high school to the subjects in which they would be tested. Both high school teachers and university professors confirmed that it was next to impossible to enter the university without private tutoring. ! SSThe cost of a private tutor was prohibitive for many workers and peasant families, and rural-urban differences in education exacerbated their difficulties. A point system that discriminated in the favor of workers and peasants was apparently not enough to compensate for poorer preparation.
Such students had less chance of getting into universities and even when admitted been more likely to drop out. Most of the 20 percent of students dropping out after the first year were of peasant or working-class backgrounds!" (Romania Higher Education, 1). Although the state provided generous financial support ranging from low-cost housing and meals, free tuition, and book subsidies to monthly stipends, higher education was not free of charge. For those students who received financial aid, the amount depended on factors such as social background and specialization. Some students were sponsored by a particular industrial enterprise, for which they pledged to work for a certain amount of time after completing their studies.
In Romania, ! SS almost 97 percent of the population can read and write. Education is compulsory for four years in rural areas and seven years in the cities. Admission to an advanced institution depends on a variety of factors, including the student's social background!" (Global Road Warrior, 1). ! SSThe Romanian legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code. The judiciary is to be independent, and judges appointed by the president are not removable. The president and other judges of the Supreme Court are appointed for a term of 6 years and may serve consecutive terms.
Proceedings are public, except in special circumstances provided for by law!" (Jurist law, 1). In Romania, the largest religion was Romanian Orthodox 70%. The second largest religion was Protestant 6%. Roman Catholic and Uniat e Catholic were 3 %. ! SSIn the late 1980 s, the Romanian Orthodox Church, by far the largest denomination, claimed some 16 million members -- roughly 70 percent of the total population. The church had some 12, 000 places of worship and 9, 000 priests and was the most generously supported of all denominations.
Party nominees filled the most important positions in the Orthodox hierarchy, and the church remained patently submissive to the regime, even in the face of repeated attacks on the most basic religious values and continued violations of church rights. Church leaders lauded the "conditions of religious freedom" that the state had guaranteed them and were known to collaborate with the Securitate in silencing clergymen who spoke out against the demolition of churches, interference in church affairs, and atheistic propaganda in the media!" (Religion, 1). Music is one of famous aesthetics in Romania. ! SS Romanian folk music is sung and played in the villages at annual celebrations, Sunday get-togethers or whenever. In the cities, professional groups such as the Romanian Radio Folk Music Orchestra perform the same music in a more sophisticated style. Couples may dance in a circle, semicircle or line.
In the belt dance, the dancers form a chain by grasping their neighbor! |s belt, whereas in the waist dance the line of dancers has their arms around each other's waist. The doin a is an individual, improvised love song, a sort of Romanian blues with a social or romantic theme. The balad a on the other hand is a collective narrative song, which reflects the conditions and / or feelings of the people, often with some historic content. Many group songs are vestiges of archaic rites, such as weddings, funerals or harvest festivals. !" Traditional folk instruments include the bucium (alphorn), cim poi (bagpipe), cobra (a pear-shaped string instrument with 8 to 12 strings), nai (a pan pipe of about 20 cane tubes), many kinds of flutes, including the ocarina (a ceramic flute) and the til inca (a flute without finger holes). The violin, though of more recent origin, is today the most common folk instrument!" (Stanley).
The often dire living conditions of the Roma is a community of 200 living near the municipal dump site in the Transylvanian city of Cluj in northwestern Romania. Their home is known as "Pata ret", but the people here call it Dallas. They have been living illegally on this plot of land for the past three years, and the authorities have decided to remove them in the near future. Some of them came when their collective farms were privatized and they were thrown off the land. Others were chased away from their villages, and yet others came after losing all their possessions in pyramid money schemes. Some of them came when their collective farms were privatised and they were thrown off the land.
Others were chased away from their villages, and yet others came after losing all their possessions in pyramid money schemes (Socio-economic conditions). Although housing was a high priority, in the 1980 s it remained inadequate in both supply and quality. ! SSThe law allotted only twelve square meters of living space per person, and the average citizen had even less -- about ten square meters. More than half a million workers lived in hostels; some had lived there for many years, even after they had married and had children. These hostels were known for their cramped and squalid conditions and for the heavy drinking and violence of their occupants. The lists of persons waiting for housing were long, and bribes of as much as 40, 000 lei were necessary to shorten the wait.
Defying reality, the PCR leadership pronounced the housing problem "solved for the most part" and predicted its total elimination by 1990, an unlikely prospect in view of the fact that new housing construction during the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1986-90) had fallen far short of target. To achieve the official goal of fourteen square meters per person by the year 2000, it would have been necessary to complete an apartment every three minutes. Come con-published statistics and even figures released by the Romanian government indicated that in fact there had been a sharp decline in the construction of new dwelling space!" (Housing). Little information is available yet on Romanian boys' clothing. Some information is available on traditional clothing. Romania appears to have been more influenced by the French than other Balkan countries (Historical boy clothing).
Romanians! | recreation is sports mostly. Their favorite sports include soccer and tennis but they also enjoy boxing and golf. ! SSIn Romania, beaches and luxury resorts line the Black Sea coast, which extends for some 245 km (153 miles) from the Danube Delta towards the border with Bulgaria in the south. The sea is clean and the absence of tides makes it ideal for swimming, windsurfing and many other types of water sports.
Some of the best-known resorts include the seaport of Constanta (served by a number of international ferry operators) Sailing is widely practised on the coast, while Romania's many rivers are well suited for kayaking. Romania has many easily accessible places for fishing such as the Danube Delta (where there are over 160 fish species including sturgeon, wel, pike and carp) and on lake shores around big cities. Winter sports: There are numerous facilities for skiing with pistes of varying degrees of difficulty found in almost all mountain resorts, the majority of which are equipped with cable cars. The main ski resorts are at Po iana Brasov (13 km/8 miles from Brasov) and Sinai a. Facilities are limited in comparison to more established skiing destinations. Sledging tracks, skating and ice hockey are available at most mountain resorts.
!" (Sport and Activities) Health care in socialist Romania was provided free of charge by the state and, at least in theory, to all citizens. The elderly, who represented a growing percentage of the population (14. 3 percent in 1986), received shoddy treatment from the state. Through regulations issued at the local level, they were unable to move to larger cities -- where food and health care were more readily available -- even when their children offered to care for them. There was also widespread discrimination against the aged in health care. Hospitals responded to emergency calls from citizens over 60 years old slowly, if at all.
Physicians routinely avoided treating the elderly in nonemergency cases and reportedly were under strict instructions from the state to reduce drug prescriptions for the aged. Homes for old people, established and run by the state social security system had appalling reputations. In these institutions, the elderly suffered from inadequate medical care, poor hygienic standards, and the same food and heating shortages that affected the general population. After 1984 the winter months brought many complaints that old people had to go without heat and hot water for as long as a week, and there were regular reports of deaths of elderly men and women because of poor heating. Medical care was unevenly distributed throughout the country for all citizens, not just the elderly. There were substantial differences between urban and rural standards.
In the 1980 s, although half the population continued to live in rural areas, only 7, 000 (15. 7 percent) of the 44, 494 physicians worked in the countryside. Consequently, many citizens had to travel great distances to get medical care. The state did not provide free medical care to some 500, 000 peasants and 40, 500 private artisans (Romania Public Health). Even though Romania is not a wealthy country, it still has social security programs for their citizens. It has old age, disability, and death for old age pension, sickness and maternity benefits, work injury, disability, unemployment and family allowances too.
Like the United States social security programs, qualifying conditions must be met to obtain the benefits (Social Security). English and French are the first foreign languages taught in Romanian schools. German is useful in Transylvania. Romanian is much closer to classical Latin than the other Romance languages.
The grammatical structure and basic word stock of the mother tongue are well preserved. Some Slavonic words were incorporated in the 7 th to 10 th centuries, as the Romanian language took definite shape. Speakers of French, Italian and Spanish will not be able to understand much spoken Romanian but will find written Romanian more or less comprehensible (Romania Language). Economic Analysis Romania, one of the poorest countries in Central and Eastern Europe, began the transition from communism in 1989 with a largely obsolete industrial base and a pattern of output unsuited to the country's needs.
Over the past decade, economic restructuring has lagged behind most other countries in the region. Consequently, living standards have continued to fall - real wages are down over 40%. Corruption too has worsened. The EU ranks Romania last among enlargement candidates and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) rates Romania's transition progress the region's worst. The country emerged in 2000 from a punishing three-year recession thanks to strong demand in EU export markets. A new government elected in November 2000 promises to promote economic reform.
Bucharest hopes to receive financial and technical assistance from international financial institutions and Western governments; negotiations over a new IMF standby agreement are to begin early in 2001. If reform stalls, Romania's ability to borrow from both public and private sources could quickly dry up, leading to another financial crisis (CIA, 5). Romania! |s population at July 2001 was around 22, 364, 022. Their age structure from zero to fourteen was 17. 95 percent, fifteen to sixty-four was 68.
51 percent and sixty-five to older was 13. 54 percent. The population growth rate is less than the year 2000, at -. 21 percent. Birth rate is 10.
8 birth/ 1000 population at 2001 EST. The sex ratio at birth is 1. 06 male (s) /female, under 15 years: 1. 05 male (s) /female, 15 to 64 years: 0. 99 male (s) /female, 65 years and over is 0. 71 male (s) /female.
Migration rates is! V 0. 6 migrant (s) /1000 population at 2001 EST. The largest ethnic groups in Romanian are Romanian 89. 5 percent, Hungarian 7. 1 percent, Roma 1. 8 percent, German 0.
5 percent, Ukrainian 0. 3 percent and other is 0. 8 percent at year 1992. In the year 2000, Romania Gross National Product total was $132. 5 billion. The real GDP growth rate was 2.
2 percent. ! SSThe annual personal income per capita is around $1500. If their personal income is compared with Hungary! |s annual personal income of $4500 per capita, their income is $3000 difference!" (Kaplan). The household income by percentage share is 3.
8 percent at its lowest and 20. 2 percent at its highest. ! SS While the industrial sector was increasing its relative contribution to national income, it underwent a radical structural change. Three branches became much more important: engineering and metalworking accounted for 25. 8 percent of all industrial production in 1990, compared with 13. 3 percent in 1950, while electricity and fuels increased their share from 13.
2 to 19 percent and chemicals from 3. 1 to 9. 6 percent. Two other branches, metallurgy and building materials, showed a slight relative advance. The main relative declines were in wood processing, paper and food processing!" (Natural Resource). Romania has rich natural resources and it needs surface transportation to help transfer to industries.
The total railways in Romania are 11, 385 km long; highways are 153, 359 km long that used to connect all the cities. It has 25 airports and one heliport but 40 cities only Braila, Constanta, Galati, Mangala, Salina and Tulcea have ports and harbors (CIA). Communication, one general system that helps people keeps in touch to each other, either industry. One famous communication that everyone will use is the telephone. Romania has 3. 777-million phone line in use at 1997 (CIA).
Mobile cellular usage rate is build up to 645, 500 at 1999. In domestic, 90% of telephone network is automatic; trunk network is mostly microwave radio relay, with some fiber-optic cable; about one-third of exchange capacity is digital; roughly 3, 300 villages have no service. For their international telephone system, it has satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat; new digital, international, direct-dial exchanges operate in Bucharest; note - Romania is an active participant in several international telecommunication network projects. Romanian labor law cover working hours, minimum wages, statutory holidays, paid holidays and paid maternity leave. The legislation provides for social security benefits paid for by employer- and employee- contributions. The main problem which workers face is that minimum wages do not reach the level of a living wage.
! SSThe legal minimum wage for the industry is 600, 000 Lei (gross), which is 325, 000 Lei (net). Different workers and trade union representatives said a living wage of a family consisting of 2 adults and 2 children is 2, 000, 000 Lei per month ($250, -)!" (Garment). When a worker does not reach the target, she does not make the basic wage. Many workers complain that targets cannot be reached in a 40-hour workweek. According to the labor law, overtime hours should be paid 200%. In most cases, workers earn the same rate for overtime.
Besides, wages do not keep up with the inflation rate. Another problem that workers face is that they never know in advance how many orders, and consequently how much work there is. ! Stone factory manager said: "People slowly start to see that you have to work for your salary. Before the revolution, it was different. There is an old joke: "We pretend to work while the state pretends to pay" Before everybody was sure of having a job. In the beginning, people still wanted to work little and earn little.
Now this is changing, people want to earn more so they choose to work more. People see so many luxurious things in the shops, which they would like to have. This creates problems because people start buying on credit and then they won't be able to pay it back" This picture of wanting to work more in order to be able to buy luxurious goods is rather rosy: most people do not earn a living wage and thus, are forced to work as much as possible. The insecurity of not knowing when there is work makes things worse (Garment). Only small parts of the workforce in the factories are men. They usually work as technicians and cutters.
All managers and trade union representatives claim that wages are the same for men and women. There are safety demands in the law, which have to be respected by all companies. In every company, there is a committee for safety, which consists of the management, union and safety inspectors of the factory. Hazardous working conditions should be compensated with a wage increase of 35%. According to a union representative, in practice an average increase of 12% is paid. This regulation is meant to be a compensation for temporary failures in working conditions.
However, in many cases improvements are never made. The Industries that Romania has is divided into three sectors, agriculture, industry and services. From the CIA world fact book provided agriculture contribute 13. 9 percent, industry contribute 32. 6 percent and services contribute 53. 5 percent for Gross Domestic Product.
! SSThe Eastern Europe countries are now one of the most attractive investment places and, among these countries, Romania takes an outstanding place, due to its position and natural resources. The privatization process is a never-to-come-back opportunity to invest in a country with good development capabilities and offers the possibility to save, prices being more than attractive!" (Smart Investor page). The largest industry in Romania is clothing. ! SSThe other industries are also included with textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto assembly, mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, and petroleum refining (CIA).
! SS According to the data supplied by the Romanian Customs Administration, within the activity of foreign trade in 2000, FOB exports amounted to USD 10, 366. 5 million by 21. 9% over the level of 1999 FOB exports (+ USD 1, 863. 5 million), representing the highest yearly value export level registered since 1989. In year 2000, monthly average was USD 863. 9 million (in 1999 monthly average was USD 708.
6 million). Industrial products represented 97. 4% of total exports in 2000, while products from agriculture and forestry held a weight of only 2. 6%!" (Romania export in 2000). In the structure of exports by goods, five sections of goods hold 69. 7% of total exports: textile matters and articles thereof (24.
2%), metallurgical products (16. 0%), machinery and mechanical devices, electric machinery, appliances and equipment, apparatus for recording and reproducing sound and image (14. 0%), mineral products (7. 9%) and footwear and parts thereof (7.
6%). In the structure of imports by goods, three sections of goods held 55. 4% in total imports: machinery and mechanical devices, electric machinery, appliances and equipment, recording or reproducing sound and image apparatus (24. 6%), textile matters and articles thereof (16.
3%) and mineral products (ores, crude oil, oil products, natural gas 14. 5%) (Romania export 2000). Imports of machinery and mechanical devices, electric appliances and equipment, recording or reproducing sound and image apparatus increased by USD 780. 9 million (+32. 1%) as against 1999. "Boilers, turbines, engines, apparatus and mechanical devices and parts thereof" holding 46.
4% in total section and 11. 4% in total imports, products with more important weights were the following: automatic data processing machinery (6. 1% in total section), individually functioning machinery and mechanical devices (3. 2%), parts and accessories for automatic data processing machinery and office ones (2. 1%), tap articles and similar (1. 9%), air-conditioning machinery and apparatus (1.
6%), refrigerators, freezers and other cooling equipment (1. 5%), sewing machines, supports and covers for sewing machines (1. 5%), rubber or plastics processing machinery and apparatus (1. 4%), parts exclusively or mainly meant for piston engines (1. 4%), lab apparatus and devices (1. 4%), liquid pumps (1.
2%), air pumps and compressors (1. 2%), plates and dishes washing machines, bottles cleaning and drying machines (1. 2%), machinery and apparatus for gas filtering and cleaning (1. 1%), machine-tools for wood processing (1. 1%)!" (Romania Import 2000). Imported goods electric machinery, appliances and equipment, recording and reproducing sound and TV image apparatus had a weight of 53.
6% in total section and 13. 2% in total imports. Main imported products from this chapter of goods were the following: integrated circuits and electronic micro-assemblies (10. 4% of total section), electric apparatus for line telephony (9. 2%), radio-telephony broadcasting apparatus (3. 4%), sets for glow plug, other sets (2.
8%), electric transformers, electrostatic converters (2. 6%), electric circuits protection and switch apparatus (2. 6%), parts for radio and television sets (2. 4%).
In 2000, imports of textile matters and articles thereof exceeded by USD 193. 9 million (+10. 0%) those of 1999. Higher weight of products from this section in total imports (16. 3%) was determined by higher imports of woolen, cotton, synthetic and artificial fiber fabrics mainly used for making clothing articles and accessories for exports. Commercial deficit FOB/CIF was USD -2, 688.
0 million in 2000 (USD -2, 070. 0 million in 1999). Trade balance in FOB/FOB prices recorded a deficit (USD -1, 683. 1 million, respectively USD -1, 257. 3 million in 1999) (Trade balance 2000).
According to the data supplied by the National Bank of Romania, average exchange rate of national currency in relation with USD on foreign currency market was ROL 21, 692. 7 in 2000 as against ROL 15, 332. 9 in 1999. The data supplied by the National Bank of Romania, exchange rate of national currency in relation with USD on foreign currency market was ROL 29, 623. 0 at end of July 2001 (+14.
3% as against December 2000) (exchange rate). Romania was a founding member of the WTO in 1995. All tariffs are bound at ceiling rates, and Romania is eliminating tariffs on products covered by the information technology agreement (ITA). For the current year, HS 1996 and the CN 1998 are applied.
All tariff lines are bound under the WTO Agreement. This commitment was implemented starting in 1995, the applied customs duties being at the bound level or below. The previous trade policy review highlighted that Romania did not apply any quotas restrictions on imports. ! SS Starting with 1 January 1998, all remaining restrictions or quantitative limitations on exports have been eliminated.
From that moment, all Romanian foreign trade is free of any prohibition or quantitative limitation. The process of the export liberalization registered a steady development: the number of goods temporarily prohibited to export diminished continuously while the products under export quota were gradually phased out. For prudential reasons, some products (raw materials, low manufactured goods) continue to be monitored through an automatic export licensing system. This system encompasses exhaustible natural resources or those affecting the environment. Automatic import licenses are also used for goods with an impact on human and plant health. For the period after 1990, a steady improvement of the licensing system can be noticed, the process started from a system according to which all export or import operations were administered through licenses.
A first relaxation occurred in 1992 and a further one in 1993, when the greatest parts of licenses were issued for quantitatively restricted exports. Finally, the process ended with a system of reduced compulsory automatic import and export licensing. During the 1993-1998 period, when restrictions on export were still in force, these restrictions were administered through export licenses while imports were conducted without import license. During the same period, the temporary export prohibitions were reduced from 178 tariff lines in 1996 to 155 tariff lines in 1997. Starting with 1 January 1998 all remaining export prohibitions and quantitative restrictions were eliminated, this decision producing an important effect on foreign trade liberalization.
For the time being, only automatic export or import licenses are in force, their number is much reduced and the nature of these licenses is a statistical one. Thus, there are no restrictions on exports or imports, the licensing system being an automatic one and having a monitoring function. As a rule, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce issues automatic export or import licenses, without any other prior endorsement. Exceptions to this rule encompass products, which might affect human health, environment protection or trade in precious metals, for which prior endorsement is required from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and the National Bank of Romania respectively. The customs policy as one of the trade policy's important component can affect international trade. This is the reason for which a special attention has been given to the continuous improvement of the customs regulations and activity.
The customs system scored an evident progress, shifting in mid-1998 from a manual treatment of customs operations to an electronic one. Another significant achievement related to the improvement of the customs activity was the setting-up of a customs database, providing customs officers an additional neutral and operative instrument in carrying out customs clearance in accordance with international commitments of Romania!" (Romania trade policy). In 1999, the Romania labor force was 9. 9 million.
The unemployment rate was 11. 5 percent and their inflation rate was 45. 7 percent (CIA). Because of these reasons, the country was poor because their salary cannot match the inflation rate. It also affected the developments of technology because most of the machinery, computers and tools are imported from the other countries. Most of the labor forces are working on the agriculture and services more than industry.
Business opportunities in Romania are tied. Foreign firms attempting to export to Romania may, by an analysis of such goals, determine whether and to what degree their product and technology offerings meet Romanian needs. From the research I found from the book and World Wide Web, I found out I can reach International business contact company located at Calea Mosilor 298, Bloc 48, Scar a B, E taj 5, AP. 48, Romania or directly contacts with Romanian Foreign Trade companies via the Romanian chamber of commerce (na or, 471). ! SS International Business Contact Company is doing international trade general, wood export and electronics computer import!" (import, export general trading). Romania has three major radio broadcasting stations.
They are AM 40, FM 202, and shortwave 3. Their profit gaining is 7. 2 million at 1997. The other famous media is television-broadcasting station.
It had more than 48 television stations and the profit gaining is 5. 25 million. Computer and Internet service is one of famous recent technology growing up in Romania. There are thirty-eight Internet Service Providers and the Internet users are getting around 600, 000 people at 2000.
The inhabitants also like to spend their weekend on cinemas because they have new, few weeks even less after being released on the cinemas across the world. The price is 10, 000 lei, a lot cheaper than in many foreign countries (Culture Activities & Leisure).