On1 January 2007,BulgariaandRomaniajoined the European Union, bringing the number of Member States to 27.
During the first three quarters of 2006, Dutch companies made investments worth EUR 665 million in these countries. According to latest estimates, outstanding direct investments in Bulgaria and Romania together totalled EUR 3.1 billion by the end of the third quarter (see the Chart) – almost three times the total value at the time both countries signed the Accession Treaty in April 2005. To put this amount in perspective, however: outstanding direct investments by theNetherlandsin the remaining 24 EU countries at the end of the third quarter of 2006 totalled EUR 333 billion.
AlthoughBulgariascores aboveRomaniaon the UNCTAD ‘Inward FDI Performance Index’ (indicating a country’s potential to attract foreign investments), the latter country receives far more direct investments from theNetherlands(93 per cent of the total). Financial and other service providers have been particularly keen investors in Romania.