Romania vs. Eastern Hungary: comparison of manufacturing locations



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When it’s about low-cost manufacturing inside the EU, Romania and Bulgaria provides the best opportunities. However, the Eastern part of Poland, Slovakia and Hungary have better infrastructure and similar labor cost level, than Romania.
EU motorways 2014. source:

Labor costs

On the average, Romanian monthly gross earnings were relavantly lower in 2015 than Hungarian earnings: 2500 RON (€560) in Romania, and  242k HUF (€800) in Hungary. The labour market situation has large in-country differences: Eastern Hungary has high (over 10%) unemployement rate, while the Western part of Romania provides one of the lowest labour supply inside the EU – unemployement rate is under 4% (map):


source: Eurostat Regional Yearbook 2015, p.109


In numbers it means Eastern Hungarian net earnings are between 110k-130k HUF (€367-€434), what is around gross €500-€600 – the 70% of Hungarian national average, which is similar than the Romanian national average (and probably lower than the Western Romanian earnings). There are no real differences on social contributions, so we can say: Eastern Hungary provides similar labor cost level than Romania, and at the same time much higher labor supply.
Financial Times’ fDi Magazine also realized it, and awarded the Eastern Hungarian Northern Great Plain Region with the ‘Top10 Best Cost Effective Region‘ award.
You can checked the European motorway system on the 1st map, here I cut and paste the Hungarian-Romanian part of it:



In numbers it means: Hungary has 1563 km long motorways, and Romania has 644 kms. While the territory and population of Romania is roughly the double of Hungary, practicly the Hungarian motorway density is more than 4x larger than the Romanian one.
Business Parks
Based on CBRE MarketView H1 2015, Timisoara, Arad, Cluj and gerenal the West/North Western Region has a relevant, approx. 800k sq.meter share in Romania’s overall industrial real estate stock (Greater Bucharest has the largest, 1,2 Msq.meter industrial stock/leasable manufacturing halls).  Regarding industrial land market, Tetarom Inc. provides 4 business parks in Cluj, with approx. 200 hectare industrial lands (85 ha available in T4). Tetarom parks are focusing on high tech industries like IT, automation, robotics, and first of all electronics. The Freidorf Industrial Park in Timisoara, managed by the local municipality, provides a special low-cost land leasing for investors. The Euro Business Park, Oradea is also managed by the local municipality, and with its 121 hectares area, one of the largest business park in Western Romania. Euro Business Park provides a low-cost, long-run industrial land rent or a modest (from €8 per sq.meter) sales price.
The average rental fees for industrial manufacturing halls are between 3-4 € per sq.meter per month (3.3-4.4€ per sq.feet per year), following the Eastern European average cost level.
Our earlier blog post introduced 6 low-cost Eastern Hungarian business parks with excellent infrastructure, now we highlight only one. The local government-owned M35 Business Park is located directly at the Hajduboszormeny exit of M35 Motorway. Its offer involves 25k job seekers in 20 kms, a dedicated vice mayor to support investment projects – and last but not least: free of charge industrial plot over 50 new jobs.
Based on Transparency International 2014 Corruption Perception index, Romania ranked on the 69th and Hungary on the 47th positions in 175 countries. It means relevant higher corruption in Romania.
Investment Promotion Agencies
Finally, Hungary has professional investment promotion agency, Romania has not. While the previous Romanian IPAs were shut down, you can get some support from embassies wordwide and from AmCham Romania.
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