Romanians luring foreign buyers with cheap forests: “There are 30 hectares for EUR 65,000”

Newsroom 12/04/2016 | 14:39

Offers for the sale of forests in Romania have ended up even on classified advertising sites in China, according to an investigation by public broadcaster TVR.

The ad posted on China’s biggest online sales site includes the following announcement – 94 hectares of forest in Strunga locality, Iasi county, EUR 165,000″.

A TVR reporter posing as a broker for a Canadian buyer talked to a Romanian that had some forests for sale.

“Reporter: I am calling you in the name of the Canadian citizen, with whom you will negotiate. He is a foreigner, you don’t have any problem selling him the forest, right?

Forest owner from Caras Severin: No. No problem. There are 30 hectares and the price is 65,000. We can negotiate. (…) It can be exploited. You have access roads and it is marked.”

Forests are being sold in Romania for around EUR 3,000/hectare and this price is three times lower than what you would have to pay in another EU state.

Marian Stoicescu, the president of the Federation for the Defense of Forests, said that 100,000 hectares worth of forests have been sold to foreign buyers, according to an assessment done last year.

Once forests are sold, the new owners can start the illegal cutting of trees. Around 9 million cubic meters of wood are disappearing each year, according to the latest statistics.

Ovidiu Posirca

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