Almost 973 million passengers travelled by air in the European Union in 2016, 5.9 per cent more than in 2015 and 29 per cent more than in 2009. Central and Eastern European registered the highest increases, with Bulgarian and Romanian air traffic climbing by 22.5 per cent and 20.5 per cent respectively. The two regional leaders were followed by Hungary (up 14.1 per cent), Croatia (13.8 per cent), and Lithuania (13.3 per cent). According to Eurostat, the total number of people travelling by air from the CEE-EU11 member states exceeded 211 million. Continue reading CEE Boosted by Positive Tourism Trends Across the Region
Economic growth in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) will be 2.2 per cent in 2017, the strongest growth in six years, and 0.3 percentage points above May’s expectations. According to the World Bank’s latest Regional Economic Update, Migration and Mobility in Europe and Central Asia, ECA economies are showing more rapid growth than previously expected with a GDP almost twice the average growth in the European Union. Continue reading Despite Public Anxieties, Migration is Playing a Key Role in ECA Growth
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of chairing a panel of thought leaders and industry experts at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. The subject matter was centred on the ICT industry in the Ukraine specifically, and the broader Central and Eastern European (CEE) region in general. Continue reading Is the CEE Region About to Steal the Outsourcing Crown From India?
First, Estonia launched a set of revolutionary delivery robots cruising the pavements of the Estonian capital Tallinn in the past summer. Now, the Baltic country has moved forward with its plans to give a new legal status to all of its smart robots. Continue reading Estonia Proposes Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for Robots
Switzerland, Singapore and the United States once again occupy the podium places in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index. A number of CEE countries rank in the top 50, the highest of which is Estonia (29th), followed by the Czech Republic (31st), Lithuania (35th), Poland (36th) and Azerbaijan (37th). Albania improved its ranking the most, moving up 13 places to 80th. In general, however, all other CEE countries showed clear signs of an economic slowdown. Continue reading Estonia Leading CEE Country in WEF Competitiveness Index
There was a gradual west to east shift in 2017 of strong nation brands. The annual Brand Finance Report shows Asia is on the march, with China leading the way, while Euro-Atlantic nation brands are stagnating. CEE is still lagging behind western nations, with only Poland ranking in the top 25. Continue reading CEE Nation Brands Still Behind Western Counterparts
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
Estonia might be the first country in the world to offer its own token through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). ‘Estcoins’ would be managed by the Republic of Estonia, but accessed by anyone in the world through its e-Residency programme. They would be launched through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which would enable companies to crowdfund their finance and incentivise a wide range of people to help grow their businesses.
Continue reading Estcoin: Estonia’s Own Digital Currency?
Nobody questions any longer that the ICT (Cyber) revolution is now a permanent part of the landscape and that we should take advantage of it to make the world a better place for everybody. Cyber technology has come to stay, with all its benefits as well as challenges. Continue reading E-lifestyle and Cyber Security: Some Views From Estonia
Two twin towns, Valga and Valka, on the border of Estonia and Latvia, have launched a project to ease integration into other countries’ job markets and to help with language barriers, qualification confirmation and documentation. Continue reading Valga and Valka – Where Estonia and Latvia Work Together
A host of flash estimate GDP data released by Eurostat and national statistics offices on August 16th showed that the economies of EU-CEE had another highly impressive quarter of growth in April-June. In seasonally-adjusted terms, growth strengthened in relation to Q1 from already elevated levels in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland and Bulgaria. In Romania and Slovakia momentum was unchanged relative to the previous three months, while in Lithuania and Hungary it slowed slightly. Data for the other EU-CEE economies—Slovenia, Estonia and Croatia—are not yet available. Continue reading EU-CEE Is Still Growing at a Healthy Rate
The inflow of FDI had long been considered the main driver of economic growth in the countries of Central and South-eastern Europe. During the transition to a market economy, FDI provided much-needed capital and knowledge, as well as access to technology and markets. Continue reading Ex-Transition Economies’ FDI Recovery