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.
More than 60 per cent of the demand for office space in four major CEE cities – Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow and Sofia – during the first half of 2017 came from the outsourcing sector. That is one of the key findings of a major new report published on December 14 by Colliers, one of the region’s largest real estate agencies. The report claims that the demand for office space is itself being driven by the ready availability of skilled workers, but also warns that the stock of highly-qualified graduates is not inexhaustive.
Lithuania‘s Maxima Grupe (Maxima Group), the leading Baltic food retailer, with a firm footing in Latvia, Estonia, Poland as well as Bulgaria, has signed an investment agreement to acquire Stokrotka, a chain of 410 convenience stores in Poland.
The head of Bulgaria’s Special Prosecutor’s Office, Ivan Geshev, has been forced to publicy deny that the Prosecutor’s Office and the Bulgarian Interior Ministry has seized cryptocurrency bitcoins now worth around 6 per cent of the country’s GDP.
Member states of the European Union spent over 300 billion euros on Research and Development (R&D) in 2016, although Central and Eastern European members spent below the EU average. The figures were published on December 4 by Eurostat.
With the first snows of the winter having already fallen across Emerging Europe, many people’s thoughts would have already turned to winter holidays, and to skiing. While for many the countries of the region are not the first to spring to mind when planning a ski trip, there are in fact a number of very good ski resorts in this part of the world. From Jasna in Slovakia to Tsakhkadzor in Armenia, many offer some superb, rugged skiing amidst fantastic scenery, usually at prices well below those in Western Europe. Not that the low cost is the only attraction. For a new breed of adventurous skier, jaded perhaps by the increasingly busy motorway pistes of France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, the search for fresh powder, for empty slopes and for new experiences is the real draw. That’s where Emerging Europe comes in, and that’s why our editor-in-chief Craig Turp, who has skied in more countries than most people have visited, decided to put together this short guide to skiing in some of the region’s top – and in some cases surprising – locations. Continue reading Skiing in Emerging Europe
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.
Two key credit rating agencies, S&P and Fitch, both raised Bulgaria’s credit rating on December 1, lowering the Balkan state’s cost of borrowing and sending a strong signal that the country’s current bout of growth was both real and sustainable. S&P raised its sovereign credit ratings on Bulgaria from BB+/B to BBB-/A-3, while Fitch upgraded Bulgaria’s long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings from BBB-minus to BBB.
Government investigations and regulatory compliance are increasingly concerning issues for businesses operating in the CEE market. This is according to the latest Central and Eastern Europe: Risk & Resilience report, published on November 23 by international law firm CMS and Legal Week, which canvassed the views of more than 40 in-house counsel on the region’s business potential and how to mitigate risks.
Industrial production prices rose by 2.9 per cent year-on-year in the euro area compared with 2016, and by 3.3 per cent in the EU28. The figures are Eurostat estimates, for the year to September 30. The latest monthly figures also show impressive growth, with both the EU19 and EU28 growing by 0.6 per cent in September.
Prague’s Na Příkopě and Pařížská are the most expensive retail streets in emerging Europe, with monthly rents averaging 220 euros per square metre. Kaunas is Europe’s most affordable retail location, with annual rents standing at just 174 euros per square metre. The figures were published on November 16 in a major new report prepared by real estate agency Cushman and Wakefield.
The European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), the EBRD and the European Union has launched a new programme committed to helping SMEs get better access to advice for sustainable growth. Tailored business advice will be made available to more than 240 SMEs across Bulgaria and Romania, as well as Greece. The expertise on offer will cover a wide range of areas including strategy, trade promotion, financial management, energy efficiency and marketing.