Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, has historically been a leading centre of the country’s economic, academic, and cultural life. Now Kaunas is in the spotlight as the city was heralded as the Emerging City of the year in Central and Eastern Europe during the recent Shared Services And Outsourcing Awards. Emerging Europe spoke to Visvaldas Matijošaitis, Mayor of Kaunas, about the city’s strengths and prospects for future growth.
The Czech Republic’s capital city has been ranked 68th in Mercer’s Quality of Living 2015 Report, thus offering the highest quality of life in Emerging Europe. Prague is closely followed by Budapest and Ljubljana (both ranked 75th) and Vilnius and Warsaw (ranked 79th).
Łódź is one of Poland’s youngest cities not only because it was transformed from a tiny town into a modern industrial centre less than 200 years ago and is now the country’s third largest city but also due to the city’s numerous programmes attracting young Poles to work and settle down in the city.
The global economic and political reality of 2015 may have a positive influence on Poland’s economy says DNB Bank Poland and Deloitte’s joint report Guidelines 2015: global challenges, domestic opportunities, sector forecasts.
With an average monthly income of almost BYR 7 million (€419) across the country and close to BYR 9 million (€520) in Minsk, Belarusians earn roughly the same as Bulgarians and Romanians but their expectations are high.
Łódź, Poland’s third biggest city, has the best strategy for attracting foreign direct investment, says the inaugural fDi Magazine’s Polish City of the Future 2015/2016 ranking. The city located in the centre of the country is followed by Katowice, Wrocław, Gdańsk and Kraków. The list of Top 15 also includes smaller cities like Piotrków Trybunalski, Białystok, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Krosno, Gdynia and Stryków and, surprisingly, no Warsaw.
Central and Eastern European cities are climbing up the Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations ranking issued by Tholons, a services globalisation and investment advisory. Poland’s Wrocław jumped by three positions, Warsaw — by two, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, Tallinn, Ljubljana — by one.
The GDP of Mazowieckie, Śląskie, Wielkopolskie, Dolnośląskie, Małopolskie and Łódzkie amounts to 66.4 per cent of Poland’s total gross domestic product, says the recent Central Statistical Office’s ranking for 2013. Mazowieckie, the country’s largest region, both in terms of population and area with the capital city of Warsaw, is the country’s richest province and generates more than a fifth of Poland’s GDP (21.9 per cent).
A stuttering recovery in the Euro Area and slowing growth in the Russian Federation have posed headwinds to developing Europe and Central Asia, says the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has taken a severe toll on Ukraine’s economy, with output estimated to have contracted an estimated 8.2 per cent in 2014.
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.
Despite the new geopolitical instability financial markets proved resilience of the CEE region since the direct impact of the sanctions imposed by Russia on CEE is close to zero, according to the Erste Group Research Horoscope 2015.
Polish special economic zones are one of the key tools for boosting Poland’s appeal and ensuring the further economic growth. According to KPMG, the total investment projected by the end of 2014 amounted to 149 billion Polish zloty or 35 billion euro, with companies creating 287,000 jobs. Located in almost all regions, the 14 special economic zones have a total area of over 18,000 hectares. On average, less than 2/3 of available land is already occupied.