01 February 2017

3 Cultural Training Tips for Business in Romania


With a population of nearly 20 million people, a steadily growing economy and a workforce made up of experts in banking, energy, manufacturing and more, Romania is a great place to do business.

According to the National Statistics Institute, the country’s economy increased by 6 per cent in the second quarter of 2016.

Romanian is still widely spoken in the country – Commisceo Global states that approximately 89 per cent of the population uses the language – and, although employees are usually trained in multiple European languages, it is important for visitors to learn Romanian if they are doing business in the country.

As well as showing the host that they respect their language and are willing to work hard to build strong relationships with them, employees should get further cultural training to get to grips with the country’s unique business culture.

For example, without knowing that Romanians are renowned for their tough negotiations, foreigners might find themselves unprepared, which could impact on the outcome of a business arrangement.

Here are 3 things that those looking to do business in Romania should be aware of.

Punctuality is essential

Romania’s working culture can still be very formal. If invited to a business meeting, it is essential to show respect to the host by arriving on time (if not early), greeting them appropriately and looking presentable.

If running late, it may be viewed as incredibly impolite to not call ahead and apologise.

Address hosts formally

Romanians usually like to get straight to the point when it comes to business, and visitors should mirror this.

Business acquaintances should address their hosts with their formal titles – ‘domnul’ for a man and ‘doamna’ for a woman – followed by the person’s surname.

When greeting and thanking hosts, one should offer a strong handshake and maintain eye contact, as this indicates sincerity and confidence.

Dress and conduct should be smart and professional

For formal business meetings, employees should dress smartly and act in a highly professional manner (if invited out for lunch, smart casual is usually appropriate).

Romanian business culture can still be hierarchical, and this is also the case in meetings. Informal chatter or asking about the host’s private life is generally not acceptable, and employees should not divert attention from the senior decision-maker – only providing information when asked for it.

Taking time to understand the nuances of Romanian business culture, as well as learning the language, will put employees in an even stronger position than just doing learning the language alone when conducting business in Romania.

If you are planning to conduct business in Romania, consider getting in touch with us to find out if a bespoke Romanian language and/or cultural training program might be suitable for those who will be working with the Romanian team.

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