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Romanian Paradox: Agriculture and the IT industry hold almost equal weight in GDP

By Emea Riga
Romania is the European country with equal contributions to gross domestic product (GDP) from both agriculture, fisheries and forests, as well as from the ICT sector, according to the Social Monitor of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Romania.
'Both branches of the economy have a contribution varying between 4% and 6% of the annual GDP in Romania. Although they have a similar contribution to GDP, the two branches employ a radically different number of citizens. The two branches are important because they are seen as extreme examples of economic modernization of a state: the agricultural sector is a traditional one and the ICT sector is a modern one. In general, industrialized countries tend to have a lower contribution to agriculture in GDP and an increasing contribution of the ICT sector, which reveals the orientation of employees towards higher productivity sectors. Almost all EU states gain more GDP from ICT than from agriculture, even in many countries specializing in agriculture, "the paper said.
According to the document, at EU28 level, the average contribution to GDP was 1.3% of GDP from the activity of the agricultural sector and 4.5% of the GDP obtained from the activity of the ICT sector.
'The hypothesis of differentiated productivity is also checked against the number of employees required for the two economic branches. At the EU28 level, the agricultural sector employs about 8.7 million citizens, while the IT sector employs about 6.7 million citizens to make a significantly higher economic contribution. For comparison, the contrast between the two economic sectors in the situation of Romania is significantly stronger. In 2016, Romania's GDP had a contribution of 3.9% from the agriculture sector and a 5.5% contribution from the ICT sector. But the Romanian agricultural sector hired 1.7 million people in 2016, while the ICT sector employed 167,000 people, "the Social Monitor reports.
According to the cited source, this difference illustrates the huge productivity gap between the two industries and one of the reasons for the economic restructuring in Romania, where a very high proportion of the active population is employed in agricultural labor, with a very low productivity.
At the same time, traditional farming can be an asset in the future development of Romania. In terms of the number of rural residents, this is a strong reservoir of workforce for other sectors.
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