The economy of Timișoara has historic tradition in manufacturing, commerce, transport, education, communications and tourism.
Timișoara has been an important economic centre since the 18th century when the Habsburg administration was installed. Due to Austrian colonisation, ethnic and religious diversity and innovative laws, the economy began to develop. The technicians and craftsmen that settled in the city established guilds and helped develop the city’s economy. In 1717, Timișoara became host to the first beer factory in Banat.
Timișoara was the first city in the country with international routes economic boom as the amount of foreign investment, especially in high-tech sectors, has risen. In an article in late 2005, French magazine L’Expansion called Timișoara Romania’s economic showcase, and referred to the increased number of foreign investments as a “second revolution”. In 2016, Timișoara was awarded by Forbes as the most dynamic city and the best city for business in Romania.
Apart from domestic local investment, there has been significant foreign investment from the European Union, particularly from Germany and Italy. Continental AG has produced tires since opening a plant in 1998. In the years that followed, Continental also established an automotive software engineering division in Timișoara. All in all, as of 2015 Continental AG employed about 8000 people in Timișoara, and the company keeps expanding.The Linde Group produces technical gases, and a part of the wiring moulds for BMW and Audi vehicles are produced by the company Dräxlmaier Group. Wiring for Volkswagen and other vehicles are produced at the German company Kromberg & Schubert. Also, Swiss company FM Logistic, already present in Timiș County for Alcatel-Lucent, Nestlé, P&G, Smithfield and in Bucharest for Cora, L’Oréal, Sanofi Aventis and Yves Rocher, and for companies like PROFI Rom Foods, BIC, Kraft Foods or SCA Packaging—offering them domestic transport services and international transport services for Bricostore, Arctic, Danone, Unilever or Contitech, the growth of FM Logistic in Romania and in Dudești through its first warehouse in Romania (Dudeștii Noi gives FM the opportunity). Nestlé produces waffles here. Among the chain restaurants present are McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway and Starbucks.
The city has two shopping malls: Iulius Mall Timișoara and Shopping City Timișoara. A third one will be completed in 2018, Timișoara Centrum. A fourth is planned to be built, Timișoara Plaza.
The USA company Flextronics maintains a workplace in the west of the city for the production of mobile telephony and government inspection department devices. In 2009, the company laid off 640 workers. The American company Procter & Gamble manufactures washing and cleaning agents in Timișoara. Smithfield Foods—the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer—has two subsidiaries in Timișoara and Timiș County: Smithfield Ferme and Smithfield Prod.