«Nokia’s New Home in Romania» titrated with the large letters SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL just three years ago. “Finns happened like to us now. Romanians will happen the same when will be cheaper to manufacture elsewhere” warned workers angry at Bochum closed the gates. Nokia withdrawal balance one year after the Bochum plant closing was not a positive one in spite of all compensation programs, vocational integration and stimulating investment in the area. Of the 2,300 former employees, only about 850 had found a stable job. During this time the Romanian workers from the new locations believed that God descended in their garden.
Today, the history is repeated. Nomadic capitalism of Nokia is moving to China. All employees of Nokia factory in Jucu – Cluj, about 2,200 people were called on Thursday for a work session with the participation and leadership of Nokia Europe. Nokia’s officials announcement has left speechless on most employees: Jucu plant closes by year’s end. “Even if Nokia leaves in five years, we will remain with lots of good things, roads, indoor plumbing, etc. Since its arrival, there is a prosperous future ahead of us.” said in 2008 Jucu mayor Dorel Pojar. Now the future does not look as promising, even though Nokia officials say that they will seek an investor to take over the factory.
Romania loses about 1.5% of GDP
More, the Nokia closing is a shock for the entire Romanian economy. Low economic growth announced by the Government Boc could be zero next year. Or, even less, while the volume of exports (in euros) of mobile phones made in Jucu exceeded that of cars in Renault Pitesti. It means about 1.5% of Romania’s GDP, a figure that will disappear with the Jucu lockout. Apparently, all these could be made based on “bad luck” or a marketing error. According to Nokia officials, nobody could have predicted in 2008, crisis or dramatic loss of market share to Nokia. In reality, however, it’s not “lack of luck” or “crisis”, but a wrong concept of growth of an economy based on “global solutions” and “strategic investors”. And although he has officially recognized that such a strategy is counterproductive, Romanian President, Traian Basescu held that the best comment at the closing Romanian plant of Nokia is to lobby for another “strategic investor” – Gold Corporation Rosia Montana. But this is already another discussion. A discussion about which I will return in the future.