All posts by Andrew Wrobel

Andrew Wrobel

About Andrew Wrobel

Andrew Wrobel is the head of content strategy and publishing at Emerging Europe. Trained as a journalist and a filmmaker, he has worked for press and broadcast media for over 15 years, covering business and economy. He has authored and contributed to a number of international business, investment and trade-related publications and reports. He specialises in nation branding (PhD candidate). He's a frequent moderator, panellist and commentator. Twitter: @andrew__wrobel

Europe’s Breadbasket Offers Opportunities for Investment and Diversification

Ukraine is known as Europe’s breadbasket and has close to a third of all the arable land area in the whole EU: some 34 million hectares. 70 per cent of that land is highly fertile black soil with a depth of up to six metres deep.

Elena Voloshina, country representative of the International Finance Corporation in Ukraine, spoke to Andrew Wrobel about the challenges and opportunities in the agricultural and energy sectors, where the IFC is strongly engaged in in Ukraine. Continue reading Europe’s Breadbasket Offers Opportunities for Investment and Diversification

January Kicks Off an Exciting Year for Emerging Europe

The new year has just begun and already it has brought a few events that will have a massive impact on what emerging Europe will face in 2017: on 17 January, the British Prime Minister laid out the foundations and the 12 objectives for untangling Britain from the European Union; three days later, the inauguration of Donald Trump, as the 45th president of the United States, marked the commencement of his four-year term. Less than a week later, the two politicians met to discuss the “special relationship” between the US and the UK. Continue reading January Kicks Off an Exciting Year for Emerging Europe

Changes Are Needed in Ukraine’s Economy and Business to Catch up with CEE Growth

Until now, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested over € 21 billion in more than 1,000 projects across six countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (EEC), contributing to the countries’ economic growth as well as policy dialogue. 

Francis Malige, Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), spoke to Andrew Wrobel about the prospects for growth in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, which make up the Bank’s EEC region, as well as the business climate and investment opportunities in its largest economy — Ukraine. Continue reading Changes Are Needed in Ukraine’s Economy and Business to Catch up with CEE Growth

Changes Are Making Ukrainian Banking More Aligned with International Standards

In January 2014, €1 cost about 11 Hryvnias (UAH) and $1, almost eight. At the end of December 2016, these foreign currencies were bought at close to 28 and 27 Hryvnias, respectively. However, depreciation is not the only challenge the National Bank of Ukraine has had to face.

Dmytro Sologub, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), spoke to Andrew Wrobel about the recent nationalisation of PrivatBank, the country’s largest bank, about the reforms of the banking system and development prospects for the financial sector, as well as the future of FDI in Ukraine. Continue reading Changes Are Making Ukrainian Banking More Aligned with International Standards

Larisa Manastirli: Where is Bulgaria After Ten Years in the EU?

In November 2016, Bulgarian opposition Socialist, Rumen Radev, won the presidential election, defeating the centre-right speaker of parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, an ally of Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov. The PM had pledged to step down if his candidate lost, and he did thus triggering an early election.

Larisa Manastirli, Director for Bulgaria at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is a leading investor in the Bulgarian economy, spoke to Andrew Wrobel, about the reforms the country has introduced and the improvements that are still required, ten years after Bulgaria joined the European Union. Continue reading Larisa Manastirli: Where is Bulgaria After Ten Years in the EU?

Maidan Three Years On—What Has Changed for Ukraine?

After two years of contraction—seven per cent in 2014 and 12 per cent in 2015 — the Ukrainian economy returned to growth in 2016 and is expected to increase by more than two per cent in 2017. However, that is not the case for Donetsk and Luhansk, which are still engaged in the military conflict and where the manufacturing sector has contracted by 32 and 42 per cent respectively.

Dr Mohammad Zahoor, a Ukraine-based, British businessman of Pakistani origin and the founder and owner of the ISTIL Group and publisher of the Kyiv Post, spoke to Andrew Wrobel about how his business has been affected by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the investment opportunities the country offers and the recent reforms following Maidan as well as Ukraine’s integration with the West. Continue reading Maidan Three Years On—What Has Changed for Ukraine?

Jeffrey Puritt: In Outsourcing, Understanding Is About More Than Speaking the Same Language

Outsourcing is being transformed; new outsourcing destinations, digitalisation, automation and the Internet of Things are only a few of the elements that are shaping it now.

Jeffrey Puritt, president and CEO of TELUS International, which operates delivery centres in eight countries, including Romania and Bulgaria, spoke to Andrew Wrobel about how his company selected the two emerging European countries, as well as about the newest trends in the sector and global outsourcing standards, during the Brexit and Global Expansion Summit in London. Continue reading Jeffrey Puritt: In Outsourcing, Understanding Is About More Than Speaking the Same Language

Bringing Belarus’ Cultural Past to Life for Belarusians and the World

Shuma makes a delicate mixture of high-quality electronic music and pagan songs and performs them in a modern and smooth manner. There are hints of cinematic Trentemøller, smooth FKA Twigs, pagan Björk and clubby Moderate in their sound. Their album “Zhnivo” was chosen as the best album of 2015, in Belarus.

Maryna Shukiurava, AKA Rusia, Shuma’s founder, leader and vocalist, spoke to Andrew Wrobel, about how she was inspired by Belarusian culture as well as electronic music from the UK: she also talked about the historical trauma the Belarusian ethnic and cultural identity is experiencing from having huge Russia as a dominating neighbour. Continue reading Bringing Belarus’ Cultural Past to Life for Belarusians and the World

Business Mentors Helping to Solve Business Development Problems First

Portrait of confident business people interacting in the office

The Belarusian start-up scene is only being created, now with experts estimating that there are about 100 new start-ups created in Belarus each year. Accelerators, incubators, business clubs, start-up hubs; all have started to appear in the last few years and there are already about two dozen hackathons taking place in the country per year.

Yuri Gurski is a Belarusian entrepreneur, business angel, strategist and adviser. He is also the founder and owner of Ideanomix and Ideanomix Digital, as well as a best-selling author of over 30 books and, currently, he is vice-president of New Product Development at Mail.ru Group. He spoke to Andrew Wrobel about how he sees the prospects for the Belarusian IT sector and the start-up scene.

Continue reading Business Mentors Helping to Solve Business Development Problems First

Lviv Is the Pearl and the Soul of Ukraine

Lviv is the important cultural, economic and scientific centre of western Ukraine. Its architectural charm and cultural heritage have earned the city the nickname, Pearl of Ukraine. It is also a modern city that is looking towards a bright future thanks to the development of the IT sector.

Andriy Sadovyi, Mayor of Lviv, spoke to Andrew Wrobel about his city’s key sectors, his future vision for the city and the amazing ambiance that makes Lviv a must-see on the European tourist map. Continue reading Lviv Is the Pearl and the Soul of Ukraine