Romania: Economy

From 1948 until 1989, Romania had a Soviet-style command economy in which nearly all agricultural and industrial enterprises were state controlled. During those years, it built an economy based largely on heavy industry. Romania remains one of the poorer European countries. Agriculture employs about one third of the labor force but accounts for only 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP). The chief crops are wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, potatoes, and grapes. Sheep and poultry are raised. About 25% of the country is forested, and large quantities of timber are cut, especially in Transylvania.

Industry contributes about a third of the country's GDP and accounts for one third of the labor force. Auto assembly, mining and metallurgy, timber, food processing, and petroleum refining are important industrys; major manufactures include textiles, footwear, light machinery, construction materials, and chemicals. The country's main industrial centers are Arad, Bucharest, Braşov, Hunedoara, Iaşi, Oradea, Reşiţa, and Timişoara. Brăila, Galaţi, and Giurgiu are the main Danubian ports; Constanţa is the chief Black Sea port. Galaţi and Constanţa are resort cities in Romania's growing tourism industry.

Textiles and clothing, metals, machinery and equipment, chemicals, and agricultural products are exported. Romania has an inadequate supply of mineral resources and must import raw materials and fuels, although historically it has been an important oil-producing center. The chief trading partners are Italy, Germany, France, and Turkey.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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