Uncertainty and insecurity shakes Romanian AV

Deep recession checked rapid economic growth in Romania and the country's efforts at recovery are hampered by a continuing political crisis. Anna Mitchell talks to Romanian integrator, Avitech about threats still present to a market that’s getting back on its feet and is hungry for growth again.

In 2007 Romania joined the European Union with high hopes for a continuation of the rapid economic growth that marked the years after the turn of the millennium and saw it dubbed "The Tiger of Eastern Europe".

Although many businesses in the country remain poised to support and nurture future growth in Romania, the nation was knocked hard by a near-global recession. Furthermore it is still embroiled in continuing political instability that has prompted some politicians in Europe to call for a suspension of the country’s voting rights in the European Union.

In 2010 Romania held the dubious distinction of being the largest debtor to the International Monetary Fund and is currently suffering at the hands on an ongoing conflict over the representation of the country at the European Council.

How has this affected the AV industry? "During the financial crisis there was a decrease across all sectors," says Ana Maria Gulpe, marketing director of Avitech, a Romanian integrator of AV and IT solutions. The integrator started life in 1999 and has grown to a company of 180 people covering a huge range of markets including local government, house of worship, broadcast and education sectors.

Gulpe puts the decline in projects down to "uncertainty and insecurity". She says: "[This] caused stagnation behaviour at all levels and many projects have been postponed or delays implemented." She adds that this trend is exacerbated by political crisis in the country.

Read ‘Sleeping Tiger’ in InAVate Active to learn more about investments and opportunities that buoyed Romania in the 2000s as well as the challenges it faces today and how AV integrators are handling them.

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