THE Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has struck a deal with officials in Romania to arrange office and exhibition space to firms from the county.

A purpose-built business complex in Craiova has been provided for Hampshire exporters to showcase products and services to potential customers from across the Balkans.

It is part of the ongoing trading initiative BRIDGE (British Romanian International Gateway Exchange) between Craiova city leaders and the chamber.

Hampshire Chamber’s executive director, Maureen Frost, said: “Companies in Hampshire that want to explore potential sales or partnerships in Romania’s diversified economy can use space in the Craiova Exhibition Centre to interact directly with potential customers. We already have interest from exporters working in the IT, manufacturing, tourism and food sectors.”

The European Union recently confirmed a €40 billion, seven-year framework budget for Romania including a €4 billion package of measures specifically designed to stimulate the economy.

BRIDGE director, Calin Huma, said: “The potential market in the region consists of more than 100 local authorities and 14,000 companies active in all aspects of industry. Romania is a huge investment market that is far from saturated. As well as potential buyers, there are many small and medium enterprises willing to engage in partnerships.

“We also have large multinationals such as Ford and Honeywell who are investing in supply chains and production capabilities.”

The Craiova Exhibition Centre is one of 25 such centres designed for business use across Romania. The venue is the newest and second biggest after a centre in the country’s capital, Bucharest.