Romania Table of Contents
Contributing about 35 percent of total industrial output in the 1980s, machine building had become the largest industrial sector. The Soviet Union and Comecon helped set up and outfit machinebuilding plants in the 1950s, but during the 1960s Romania began acquiring technology and know-how from the West. In the 1980s, however, many manufacturing ventures initiated with Western partners in the previous decade were on shaky ground or had already failed. As a rule, capitalist enterprises found both the output and quality of goods produced by these ventures unsatisfactory. Because of restrictions on imports, domestic industry was required to satisfy nearly 90 percent of the country's machinery and equipment needs during the 1980s.
In terms of both volume and diversity of output, the machinery sector was impressive. In 1982 Romania ranked tenth in the world in the production of machine tools and was the world's largest exporter of railroad freight cars and the third largest exporter of oil-field equipment. It was one of the few countries to build offshore-drilling platforms. A symbol of industrial sophistication, the giant rigs were assembled at the Galati shipyard using domestically manufactured components. And great strides had been made in the production of aircraft, electronic and electrical equipment, ships, and ground vehicles.
Data as of July 1989