Cultural Etiquette: Doing Business In Romania - Answers & Video

Cultural Etiquette: Doing Business In Romania

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Cultural Etiquette: Doing Business in Romania

Romania, located in Eastern Europe, is known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. If you are planning to do business in Romania, it is essential to understand the country’s cultural etiquette. This article will provide you with valuable insights into Romanian business customs, communication styles, and other important aspects of conducting business in this fascinating country.

Business Meetings

When scheduling a business meeting in Romania, it is best to do so in advance, preferably a few weeks before the desired date. Punctuality is highly valued, so make sure to arrive on time or a few minutes early. It is common for Romanians to greet each other with a firm handshake, direct eye contact, and a sincere smile.

  • Greetings: Begin the meeting with a polite greeting, such as “Bună ziua” (Good day) or “Salut” (Hello). Address your Romanian counterparts using their titles and surnames unless invited to use their first names.
  • Business Attire: Dressing professionally is important in Romania. Men should wear suits and ties, while women should opt for conservative and elegant attire.
  • Business Cards: It is customary to exchange business cards at the beginning of a meeting. Ensure that your business card includes your title and any relevant qualifications.
  • Small Talk: Romanians appreciate some small talk before diving into business matters. Topics such as Romanian culture, history, and sports can help build rapport.
  • Meeting Agenda: It is advisable to have a clear agenda for the meeting and stick to it. Romanians prefer structured discussions.
  • Decision-Making Process: The decision-making process in Romania can be hierarchical. It may take time to reach a final decision, as it often involves multiple levels of approval.
  • Negotiations: Negotiations in Romania can be a mix of assertiveness and diplomacy. Be prepared for some back-and-forth discussions and try to maintain a respectful and professional tone.
  • Follow-up: It is essential to send a follow-up email or letter after the meeting, summarizing the key points discussed and any agreed-upon actions.

Communication Styles

Understanding the Romanian communication style is crucial for successful business interactions. Romanians value direct and clear communication, although they may also use non-verbal cues to convey their message.

  • Verbal Communication: Romanians tend to speak directly and express their opinions openly. It is important to listen actively and avoid interrupting others.
  • Non-Verbal Communication: Pay attention to non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. Maintaining eye contact during conversations is considered a sign of respect.
  • Personal Space: Romanians appreciate a moderate amount of personal space during conversations. Avoid standing too close or touching others unless you have a close relationship.
  • Formality: While Romanians generally appreciate a friendly and warm atmosphere, they also value professionalism and formalities in business settings.
  • Language: Although many Romanians speak English, it is a good idea to learn a few basic Romanian phrases to show respect and make a positive impression.

Negotiating and Building Relationships

Building strong relationships is important in Romanian business culture. Networking and establishing trust can greatly contribute to successful negotiations and business partnerships.

  • Building Trust: Romanians prefer to do business with people they know and trust. Invest time in building relationships and getting to know your Romanian counterparts on a personal level.
  • Gift Giving: While not mandatory, small gifts such as chocolates or flowers can be appreciated as a gesture of goodwill. Avoid extravagant or overly personal gifts.
  • Business Meals: Inviting your Romanian business partners for a meal can be an excellent opportunity to strengthen relationships. Be prepared for lengthy meals and engage in casual conversation.
  • Toast Etiquette: During business meals, it is common for toasts to be made. Raise your glass, make eye contact, and say “Noroc” (Cheers) before taking a sip.
  • Patience: The negotiation process in Romania may require patience, as decisions can take time. Avoid rushing or showing signs of impatience.
  • Respect for Hierarchy: Romanian business culture often respects hierarchical structures. Show respect to those in senior positions and follow proper protocols.

Business Gifts and Hospitality

Gift-giving and hospitality play a role in Romanian business culture, but it is important to exercise discretion and cultural sensitivity.

  • Gifts: If you decide to offer a gift, choose something that reflects your home country or company. It is customary to present gifts at the end of a successful negotiation or upon the completion of a project.
  • Hospitality: If you are invited to a Romanian colleague’s home, it is polite to bring a small gift for the host, such as flowers or a bottle of wine.
  • Business Entertainment: Hosting business dinners or events can be a way to strengthen relationships. Ensure that the venue is appropriate, and be prepared to cover the expenses.
  • Business Dining: Table manners are important during business meals. Follow the lead of your Romanian counterparts and wait for them to start eating before you begin.


Doing business in Romania requires understanding and respecting the country’s cultural etiquette. By familiarizing yourself with Romanian business customs, communication styles, and relationship-building practices, you can establish strong connections and achieve successful business outcomes. Remember to approach each interaction with professionalism, patience, and an open mind.

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