Eastern Europe and Central Asia has closed on average 71 per cent of its gender gap, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. Overall, 68 per cent of the global gender gap has been closed, a slight deterioration on 2016 and 2015, when the gap was 68.3 per cent and 68.1 per cent respectively.
Despite political tension, eurozone economic confidence rose in October to its highest level in nearly 17 years. The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator, published on October 30, improved more than expected to 114.0 in October from 113.1 in September. This was the highest since January 2001, when the reading was 144.4. The expected score for October had been 113.3.
Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said on October 25 that the country’s budget deficit for 2017 was “under 3 per cent” and would “remain under 3 per cent.” His comments came a day after Eurostat published its own figures for the second quarter of 2017, which show that Romania is running by far the biggest budget deficit in the EU, at 4.1 per cent. The UK — whose economy is wracked with uncertainty regarding Brexit — is a distant second, with a deficit of 3.4 per cent. Continue reading Romania’s Budget Deficit ‘Should Start Alarm Bells Ringing’
With an unemployment rate of 7.5 per cent in August, Lithuania is facing a shortage of qualified workers. There are over 9,000 vacancies across the country and more than 70 per cent of employees claim finding workers is a challenge. Trying to solve the problem, Invest Lithuania, the country’s investment promotion agency, joined by over 30 foreign companies, has founded Work in Lithuania, a programme inviting emigrants back to the country. Continue reading Lithuania Wants to Bring Home its Skilled Workers
The clear winner of the Czech Republic’s parliamentary elections is ANO 2011, an anti-establishment political party founded by Andrej Babiš, a Slovak-born billionaire. Continue reading Czech Election Result Could Delay Euro Adoption Until 2025
Romania’s Finance Minister Ionuț Mișa announced on October 16 that the rate of income tax would be reduced to 10 per cent from January 1, 2018. The current rate of income tax in the country is 16 per cent. At the same time he also announced the introduction of what has been called a ‘solidarity’ tax of 2 per cent on labour, to be paid by employers. It too will be applied from January 1, 2018. Continue reading Romania Cuts Income Tax, Introduces Solidarity Tax
Georgia’s economy grew by 4.7 per cent in the first two quarters of 2017, a big increase on the 2016 whole-year figure of 2.7 per cent. Exports are booming, and the unemployment rate is lower than it has been for years. Continue reading Georgia’s Growth Continues
Economic growth in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) will be 2.2 per cent in 2017, the strongest growth in six years, and 0.3 percentage points above May’s expectations. According to the World Bank’s latest Regional Economic Update, Migration and Mobility in Europe and Central Asia, ECA economies are showing more rapid growth than previously expected with a GDP almost twice the average growth in the European Union. Continue reading Despite Public Anxieties, Migration is Playing a Key Role in ECA Growth
The Belarusian authorities are switching from control to prevention. President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree in October minimising the interference of oversight and auditing agencies in business operations. Continue reading Belarus Introduces New Business-Friendly Auditing Procedures
The consortium constructing the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is investing a total of 800 million euros in Albania in 2017-2018, a sum which represents the largest single input of FDI in the country. (FDI for the whole country is approximately 1.5 billion euros). TAP will additionally create job opportunities for Albanian companies during construction. More than 2,800 people are already working directly for the project. Continue reading Trans Adriatic Pipeline Will Fuel Albanian Growth
The registration of new diesel and petrol cars in Slovenia will be forbidden after 2030. The government has adopted a strategy on the use of alternative fuels in the transport sector requiring that the total carbon footprint of a car must be less than 50 g of CO2 per kilometre, a standard which currently only electrical vehicles and plug-in hybrids meet. Continue reading Slovenia Sets Green Vehicle Deadline of 2030
There was a gradual west to east shift in 2017 of strong nation brands. The annual Brand Finance Report shows Asia is on the march, with China leading the way, while Euro-Atlantic nation brands are stagnating. CEE is still lagging behind western nations, with only Poland ranking in the top 25. Continue reading CEE Nation Brands Still Behind Western Counterparts