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In recent years, Romania has emerged as a burgeoning hub for the Information Technology and Communication (IT&C) sector, showcasing remarkable growth and development. The question at the forefront now is whether Romania can leverage its robust IT ecosystem to establish itself as a distinguished player on the global stage and, in turn, become the country’s defining brand.

The Romanian IT Services market has undergone significant evolution, marked by notable trends that underscore the industry’s dynamism. Cloud computing adoption and the utilization of big data analytics have become pervasive, as businesses strive to enhance efficiency and gain insights into market dynamics. Romania’s IT sector stands out globally due to a highly skilled workforce, with an impressive number of certified IT specialists (e.g., more tech specialists per 1,000 residents than in the United States), ranking the highest in Europe and sixth worldwide.

The country’s IT landscape is complemented by a favorable economic environment. Romania’s steady economic growth and relatively low taxes have attracted foreign investments, fostering an ecosystem conducive to the flourishing IT industry. The average salary in the ICT sector is double the national average and has increased by 54,5% in 2023. However, this is still 20% to 50% lower than in the Western European or American markets. This makes Romania an attractive and cost-effective option for businesses seeking quality expertise.

Education plays a pivotal role in sustaining this growth. With numerous universities, including top-ranking institutions like Babes-Bolyai University, Polytechnic University of Bucharest, and the University of Bucharest, Romania produces a pool of skilled IT professionals. For instance, in 2021, there were 40,063 students and 9,308 graduates, an almost 20% and 65% increase, respectively, compared to 2015. This significant rise in ICT students and graduates signals a promising future for the sector, and the country’s start-up scene is thriving with ambitious tech innovators.

Romanian startups, particularly in fintech, software, data, and sales, have garnered attention globally. The increasing investments in software development, reaching a record-breaking $270 million in 2022, showcase the growing interest in Romania’s tech landscape. Connectivity and IT infrastructure further bolster Romania’s appeal, with fast internet connectivity, robust telecom networks, and the introduction of 5G services. Importantly, Romania’s IT infrastructure can support projects of any magnitude. With access to the fourth-best fixed broadband speed worldwide (214.3 Mbps), developers can swiftly build, test, and refine software products, resulting in accelerated time-to-market for their solutions.

To solidify Romania’s position as an IT&C hub and elevate it to a national brand, strategic actions must be taken. Investment attraction, fostering more academic collaboration, nurturing a vibrant start-up ecosystem, and providing tailored legislation are critical steps. Creating an environment that supports scaling-up mechanisms, such as venture capital and mergers and acquisitions, will also propel the industry forward.

Education and research and development (R&D) initiatives should be intensified, with a focus on attracting international institutions and establishing digital innovation hubs. Policies should be crafted to ensure a friendly environment for both students and businesses, while infrastructure development should align with future technologies like 5G and 6G.

Learning from a non-trivial number of success stories, both public and private sectors should collaborate to replicate and scale up achievements in the IT&C sector. Experts should be engaged to develop a compelling brand strategy, positioning Romania as the number one destination for IT&C excellence.

All in all, Romania’s IT&C sector has the potential to become the country’s defining brand. With a skilled workforce, favorable economic conditions, and a thriving start-up ecosystem, Romania can capitalize on its strengths to create a lasting impact on the global IT stage. Strategic planning, continuous investment, and a proactive approach will be key in realizing this vision and positioning Romania as a beacon of IT&C excellence.