Armenia inaugurated a Free Economic Zone (FEZ) on December 15, in the southern city of Meghri on the border with Iran. During the opening ceremony the first agreements were signed between the Meghri FEZ Closed Joint-Stock Company and the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, the Russian trade representative to Armenia and two local companies, ArmHydroEnergyProject and Arman&Partner.
A major new report carried out by See News for the Sofia Investment Agency shows that more than one in five Bulgarian workers is employed in Sofia. The unemployment rate in the capital has decreased by almost a third over the past four years and is now just 3.8 per cent, well below the national average of 6.2 per cent. Sofia also accounts for a staggering 40 per cent of Bulgaria’s total GDP, and is currently enjoying growth of 7.7 per cent. Growth for Bulgaria as a whole is less than half of that, albeit at a still impressive 3.4 per cent. In 2016, 52 per cent of all foreign direct investment to Bulgaria went to Sofia.
Nine cities in Central and Eastern Europe feature amongst the first 20 in the Best-Performing Cities Europe Index, published on December 4 by the Milken Institute. The report used outcomes-based metrics including job creation, wage gains, manufacturing, and skilled service industry concentration to evaluate the relative performance of European regions.
It will take as many as six decades for income levels in the Western Balkans to catch up with those of the European Union (EU) if economies in the region continue to grow at the average speed achieved between 1995 and 2015, says the World Bank’s Western Balkans: Revving Up the Engines of Growth and Prosperity report, looking at how Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia can speed up economic growth and achieve faster income convergence with the EU.
The European Commission’s Autumn Economic Forecast, published on November 9, sees growth continuing across those emerging European states which form part of the EU, although the pace of that growth is expected to slow somewhat over the next two years. Almost across the board, private consumer spending is the main driver of growth.
The finance ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced on November 6 that they had agreed to create a pan-Baltic capital market to strengthen their economies and stimulate investment. Toomas Tõniste (Estonia), Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Latvia) and Vilius Šapoka (Lithuania) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Brussels in which the three countries agreed to harmonise capital market regulations and dismantle investment barriers. All three Baltic States suffer from a number of constraints caused by the relatively small size of their markets: the agreement should help them overcome such limitations.
Limited access to quality education, jobs and services, and the need for better cooperation between regional and central government are just two of the reasons that the Riga region underperformed in the latest survey of the Latvian economy carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Poland is Central and Eastern Europe’s leader in technology, with 19 companies ranked in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe 2017 report. The speed of growth among Central Europe’s technology companies continues to accelerate, with the average hitting a new record of 1,127 per cent, the report says. Continue reading CEE Tech Growth Continues: Poland and the Czech Republic Lead the Way
The VW Group, which owns Czech carmaker Škoda Auto, has rejected claims that it will shift some production to Germany. Instead, the group has decided to diversify three brands, Volkswagen, SEAT and Škoda.
Continue reading Škoda too Strong for VW Group
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has made real progress after decades of underinvestment, not least the 5600 kilometres of new motorways which have been built over the last 20 years. However, as much as 615 billion euros needs to be invested in infrastructure and logistics if the CEE region is to bridge the gap with Western countries, a PwC report has found. Continue reading CEE Must Improve Infrastructure and Logistics
CEE economies are stable and represent only a moderate to low risk, claims a report published by Atradius, a global trade credit insurer. The report focuses on the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Turkey, and also this year includes Romania and Bulgaria, due to their long-term growth potential. Continue reading Still Potential for Growth in CEE as Economies Stabilise
In 2016, 500 of the largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe generated a turnover of 580 billion euros, says the Coface CEE Top 500 report. Polish companies increased their turnover by 3.3 per cent, while the turnover in Hungarian and Czech firms decreased by 11.5 and 2.2 per cent respectively. With two companies located in Poland— Orlen and Jeronimo Martins, and one each in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia (Škoda, MOL and Volkswagen, respectively), the top five lacks a Romanian business. However, this might change in the coming years. Continue reading Automotive and Transport Companies Dominate the CEE Region