The credit crunch has had an impact but construction is set to maintain its growth next year, thanks to infrastructure spending

How badly has Romania been hit by the credit crunch?

Pretty badly, to be honest. Its GDP increase for the first three quarters of 2008 was 8.9% – the biggest growth in Europe – but the total for the year is only expected to be around 8% with the way the markets are moving. However, construction is forecast to maintain its growth next year – it has increased by 25% this year – largely as a result of infrastructure spending. Residential is expected to decline as a percentage of construction work.

What markets are set for a boom?

Residential is slowing as a result of the crunch, but there is still work to be had. Infrastructure markets are looking very promising for next year, particularly if Romania receives the additional EU funding it is hoping for.

What kind of reception can UK firms expect?

A very positive one. In common with many of its neighbours, Romania is keen to move away from the Communist-style developments that have characterised its landscape in the past, and embrace ideas and expertise from the West and the Middle East.

What are the locals saying?

“The market in Romania is still far behind where it's meant to be. There's still a lot of work to be done,” says Radu Ivan, business development manager at Impact.

Building's emerging market rating: 7/10