Romania initiates new talks with Volkswagen over car plant: report

FILE PHOTO: An employee holds a Volkswagen logo in a production line at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania initiated new talks with Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE on Tuesday after the carmaker announced it had postponed a final decision on whether to build a new plant in Turkey, trade minister Stefan Radu Oprea was quoted as saying.

A Volkswagen spokesman said on Tuesday that the German carmaker had postponed its final decision amid international criticism of Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria and concerns about potential reputational fallout.

With a decision on hold, emerging economies in eastern Europe are vying for the investment.

“We have initiated new talks with Volkswagen Group,” Oprea was quoted as saying by Romanian daily Ziarul Financiar on Wednesday.

“Romania has a very good technical report right now and we don’t have a labor force problem.”

Oprea is serving as interim trade minister until a new government is voted in, after the cabinet collapsed following a no-confidence vote in parliament earlier this month.

Romania is home to carmakers Dacia, owned by France's Renault RENA.PA, and Ford Romania F.N.

Neighboring Bulgaria is also vying for Volkswagen’s investment and is ready to double its financial incentives to convince the company to build a plant there, Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Susan Fenton