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

World Bank: Brexit Hides Greater Challenges to the European Union and the CEE Region

Today, people across the United Kingdom are casting a vote that could change their country, but which could also transform European politics. The Remain camp claims that leaving the EU will be detrimental to Britain’s economy. Their opponents say the detriment to the UK of staying in the EU far outweighs the risks of leaving. They believe the Eurozone has been a disaster and maintain that it’s very important for Britain to regain control of their own borders.

Dr Arup Banerji, Regional Director for the European Union countries for the World Bank Group, talked to Andrew Wrobel about the impact of Brexit on Central and Eastern Europe. They also discussed other challenges that the European Union is currently facing that concern the CEE region and the solutions that might help address these. Continue reading World Bank: Brexit Hides Greater Challenges to the European Union and the CEE Region

Belarusian Economy on a Diet to Change its Financial Outlook

The Belarusian economy has not had the best time for the past two years, with a recession and a massive depreciation of the rouble.

Kiryl Rudy is President Alexander Lukashenko’s former economic adviser and the co-author of The Financial Diet, a book about reforming the system of public finances and rational spending of budget money. He spoke to Andrew Wrobel about the challenges that the Belarusian economy is facing now.

Continue reading Belarusian Economy on a Diet to Change its Financial Outlook

Foreign Investors: Belarus Offers Opportunities But Further Improvements Are Needed

By 2014, €15.8 billion, or over 23 per cent of Belarus’ GDP, was the foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in the country, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report from 2015. Foreign companies invested €1.7 billion in Belarus in 2013 alone. 2014 and 2015 saw an FDI of about €1.4 billion respectively, according to the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW).

Andrew Wrobel spoke to the CEOs of Austrian Velcom; Swiss Stadler; Priorbank, owned by Austrian Raiffeisen; Irish Pure Energy Intelligence and senior representatives of Austrian Kapsch and German Salamander about their experiences in Belarus.

Continue reading Foreign Investors: Belarus Offers Opportunities But Further Improvements Are Needed

Let’s Stop Wasting Time Redefining our Place in Europe

This week’s Emerging Europe Diplomats’ Meeting  was the first in a series of events addressed at diplomats residing in London. It re-raised the dilemma of how to refer to that region, which comprises 23 countries, with some of them belonging to the European Union, some believing membership will come soon and still others having chosen the Eurasian Economic Union. Are they New Europe, New Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe or maybe emerging Europe? Is it something else again? Continue reading Let’s Stop Wasting Time Redefining our Place in Europe

Chris Lowney — What Jesuit Spirituality Can Teach Us About Global Leadership

In 1983, Chris Lowney left the Jesuit seminary he had been studying with from the age of 18 to work as an investment banker and then managing director for J.P. Morgan. Since leaving the bank in 2001 he has written four books and has been involved in a number of philanthropic efforts, including chairing the board of Catholic Health Initiatives, America’s second largest not-for-profit hospital and healthcare system.  Continue reading Chris Lowney — What Jesuit Spirituality Can Teach Us About Global Leadership

ScaleFocus — Thinking Big Means Big Growth

The Fastest-Growing Company of the Year in Europe and the Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year (by the International Business Awards and the National Outsourcing Association in the UK respectively) are just two of the numerous recognitions that this young Bulgarian company received in 2015. ScaleFocus is a fast growing IT consultancy and software development supplier that delivers product outsourcing and custom solutions. In March 2016, the company celebrated its fourth birthday.

Plamen Tsekov, CEO of ScaleFocus, talked to Andrew Wrobel about the company’s recent successes, as well as its very beginnings and their plans for the next decade. Continue reading ScaleFocus — Thinking Big Means Big Growth

Emerging Europe Live — Discussing CEE Business Live On the Net

Did you know that mobile data traffic grew by 74 per cent, globally, in 2015 alone? Cisco Visual Networking Index says that at the end of 2015 global mobile data traffic reached 3.7 Exabytes per month (or almost 4 billion Gigabytes, if you like). That is up from the figure of 2.1 Exabytes per month, only a year earlier. In 2015, mobile offload exceeded cellular traffic for the first time ever and mobile video traffic accounted for 55 percent of the total mobile data traffic. It is estimated that by 2020 three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video. This means that mobile video should increase 11-fold between 2015 and 2020, and will eventually account for 75 percent of the total mobile data traffic, by the end of the forecast period. Continue reading Emerging Europe Live — Discussing CEE Business Live On the Net

EconMin: Bulgaria — Number One Outsourcing Destination And an Island of Stability in Europe

In 2015, Bulgaria was named the best outsourcing destination by the UK’s National Outsourcing Association (NOA), and the BPO sector’s contribution to the country’s economy amounts to 3 per cent. In addition to this, the Bulgarian government is aiming to improve the country’s business climate by offering a range of incentives for foreign investors as well as individuals.  The country currently has the lowest rate of personal income tax in the European Union and it offers fiscal citizenship to foreign nationals, working in Bulgaria. Continue reading EconMin: Bulgaria — Number One Outsourcing Destination And an Island of Stability in Europe

Katowice — a Polish City for a Change

The City of Katowice is interested in attracting investors who are looking to create new jobs in the more creative sectors, based on high technologies, environment-friendly as City hall is promoting our city as an ecological one, not just a city based on traditional industries, says Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice in a video interview with Emerging Europe.