Since it joined the EU in 2015, government economic measures and communist-era educational excellence have spurred rapid growth

At a sleek new office in the heart of Bucharest, Fitbit co-founder and chief executive James Park explains why the smartwear giant is rapidly expanding its operations in Romania – and following the lead of a host of multinationals. “The tech talent here is amazing. Romania and other countries in central and eastern Europe have great existing talent, and also great universities,” he says.

The US company, which bought Romanian smartwatch brand Vector Watches for a reported $15m (£11.4m) late last year, and has tripled its staff in Romania since, has just opened its largest research and development centre outside the US, in the Romanian capital. It’s not alone: in recent years, major global companies such as Siemens, Ford and Bosch have set up or expanded operations in Romania, boosting an economy that’s already growing at speed.

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