When Ukraine makes the headlines, it is generally because of the war, which started in 2014, in the eastern part. This has hugely influenced the political and economic situation of the country, including the ease of doing business. However, it’s unjustified to think that, given the circumstances, investing in the whole country makes no sense. Continue reading Western Ukraine Could Be an Entry Point into the Country
Unlikely and unusual as it may seem, in a national general multi-subject primary school test, taken last May, final grade pupils in Kosovo achieved higher results in English than in their mother tongue. The subject with the second highest score was computer studies. Continue reading Kosovo: A Population of Talented Young Entrepreneurs Waits at Europe’s Door
Last year’s wire-tapping scandal, where the national security services allegedly recorded some 670,000 conversations from over 20,000 phone numbers illegally, paralysed the small Balkan nation of Macedonia. It is now a year later and the country, which has been an EU candidate since 2005, is trying to move on. Continue reading Macedonia — Stepping Out Of the Shadow Of the Balkans
Before the global financial crisis, Albania was one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe. However, after 2008, average growth halved and macroeconomic imbalances in the public and external sectors emerged. Now the new government is introducing reforms to get the economy back on track. Why Emerging Europe speaks to Dr. Arben Ahmetaj, Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship of Albania, about how the country wants to further improve its business climate and attract foreign direct investment.
Between 2014-2020, 16 Polish regions will receive €31 billion of European Funds, 25 per cent more than from the 2007-2014 budget. Over €22 billion from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be spent on infrastructural projects and support for entrepreneurs. The remaining €9 billion from the European Social Fund (ESF) is supposed to help lower unemployment, improve quality of life and increase skills and qualifications.
The common currency will help the Lithuanian economy grow after the country becomes the 19th member of the Eurozone on 1 January 2015, says EY’s Eurozone Forecast December 2015.
Bans on the import of food products applied by Russia to EU countries which supported the sanctions against Russia were doomed to fail to hit CEE economies, says Erste Group’s special report CEE well prepared for ‘Russian winter.’
The situation in Ukraine has made Belarus face some political and economic challenges. According to Raiffeisen Research’s Belarus Country Report 2014, despite being unlikely that Belarus will pull out of the plans to be a founding member of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union from 2015, recent events might cause Belarusian authorities to be less enthusiastic about deeper integration with Russia, in particular in the political space.
Europe hardly exists as a homogenous economic region and would be better off not being treated as such in further financial strategising. In particular, the great divergences between the countries of Emerging Europe on the three strategic axes – namely, smart growth, inclusive growth, and sustainable growth – and the 7 flagship initiatives that fall under them show that even those belonging to Central and Eastern Europe come as a mixed bunch, economically speaking.
The Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) joined the EU in 2004 as rather weak economies, but with huge growth potential. With a population of more than 64 million, or 13 per cent of the EU28, the economic output of the Visegrad countries was only about 3.7 per cent of the total EU28 output, says Erste Group’s report.
It’s been ten years already since Poland’s EU accession. Of the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004, only Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Lithuania have yet to adopt the euro.
Economic prospects across Emerging Europe remain strong despite recent events in Ukraine and Russia, according to Regional Economic Prospects in EBRD Countries of Operations: May 2014. While the EBRD region as a whole has suffered the negative impacts of political uncertainty, the CEE economies — of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania in particular — are benefiting from the positive effects of recovery in the Eurozone. In fact, growth in Q4 2013 enjoyed stronger than initially estimated growth in the region, in Poland especially.