Dutch Vopak, a global provider of independent tank terminal capacity to the chemical and oil industries for the storage of liquid chemical products, is interested in investing in the port of Constanta, Bernard Wientjes, president of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO–NCW), told BR last week at the end of his visit to Romania.
“They want to make some investments in Constanta. There is a storage company there which is fully owned by the Romanian state and Vopak would be interested in some form of joint venture, to buy this company or extend it because they have storage capacity all around the world and because they see that Constanta could be a very interesting place for the future,” said Wientjes.
He explained that logistics is a target sector for the Dutch authorities and that the Romanian logistics industry, especially the port of Constanta, is of key interest to investors from the Netherlands.
Discussions with the Romanian authorities touched on the European Gateway Platform, a PPP project funded by the Dutch public and private sector with the aim of making the port of Constanta a gateway to Central and Eastern European markets.
“We are happy with the cooperation between Rotterdam and Constanta but we want to take the next step, which would mean more involvement. This could mean some kind of joint venture, which would perhaps be the best solution as Rotterdam has done the same in many other places, like Qatar for example.
They bring knowledge, and of course Rotterdam is the most modern and advanced harbor in Europe, so this joint venture could be a win-win situation,” Wientjes added.
Other areas of interest for Dutch companies in Romania are agriculture and energy, stated the president, adding that Dutch investors are generally satisfied and positive about doing business here. However, bureaucracy still remains a burden as do delays in refunding VAT, he went on.
“The VAT is a problem in this country for many of our companies. Not because it is 24 percent – this is not so important – but because when a company pays it in advance it has to wait six months to get it back,” he said.
Another issue Wientjes mentioned was the lack of educated workers, especially in the field of logistics. To remedy this, Dutch representatives offered support in creating a faculty or department in one of the Romanian universities dedicated to this field. ∫ ∫ ∫
Headquarters: Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Presence: Operates in 31 countries worldwide
Industry: Offers storage and trans-shipment solutions at 80 terminal on all continents
Established: 1616. In its earliest form the company provided storage and related services to trading companies
2010 Turnover: EUR 1.1 billion. Listed on the Amsterdam AMX index.