The Czech National Bank (CNB) raised its main interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.50 per cent in early November. The bank had also increased the rate in August, in doing so becoming Europe’s first monetary authority to embark on a tightening cycle.
At the end of October the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) organised its international business-to-business event called the Slovak Matchmaking Fair (Slovenská kooperačná burza). The event, attended by around 300 companies, was held for the first time in Košice, the largest city in eastern Slovakia.
Less than six years ago, Warsaw had only one airport — Okęcie — which has recently been expanded and in 2016 handled a record number of 12.8 million passengers. Today, there is Warsaw Modlin, located 40 kilometres north of Poland’s capital, served mainly by Ryanair flights, and Radom, about 100 kilometres south of the city, which opened three years ago at the cost of 120 million złotys (27.8 million euros) and recently lost its only regular carrier. Now the government is planning another airport in Stanisławów, some 45 kilometres west of Warsaw. The cost of the investment is estimated at 20 billion złotys (4.6 billion euros) and the first plane is scheduled to take off in mid-2027.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged Croatia to accelerate the pace of structural reforms in order to improve competitiveness and mid-term growth prospects.
“Croatia’s convergence process has slowed down compared to its peers,” Elisabetta Capannelli, World Bank country manager for Croatia and Slovenia tells Emerging Europe. “Key reforms include those that would help create a favourable and predictable business environment and overall reduce the presence of the state in the economy, making it much more effective when companies should remain in public hands,” Elisabetta Capannelli, World Bank Country Manager for Croatia and Slovenia tells Emerging Europe.
The ICT sector, with over 420 firms, has been one of the fastest developing sectors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) over the last few years. According to the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA), its share of the country’s GDP amounts to 80 million euros. In 2016, the number of IT people employed by ICT companies increased by 97 per cent compared to 2010, and net profits of ICT firms have doubled.
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).
With key support from the EBRD’s Legal Transition Team, Montenegro accelerated the reform of its legal framework at the end of October when it adopted new legislation covering financial leasing, factoring, purchase of claims, micro-credit and credit-guarantee issues by the state parliament. Montenegro’s legal and regulatory framework is now significantly better aligned with international best practice.
The Serbian Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, together with the country’s Competition Commission, has begun to draft new competition legislation, in order to improve the business environment.
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.
Buying eggs is becoming a challenge for Polish grocery shoppers. Not only is the price of eggs going up — by 28 per cent between October 9 and 15, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development — but they are also increasingly hard to find in shops and hypermarkets.
The otherwise monotonous Baltic banking sector has recently seen some tremors with two Nordic banks Nordea and DNB merging into one business, Luminor, a new bank. There are also strong rumours regarding the possible arrival of a Polish bank, PKO, in Lithuania, the largest Baltic state.
As much as 354 billion złotys (82.5 billion euros) has been allocated to Poland from the European Union’s 2014-2020 budget. Halfway through the budgetary period, contracts worth some 131.5 billion złotys have been signed, and only 28 billion złotys have been paid to beneficiaries, about 8 per cent of the total amount.