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.
Amidst fierce criticism from abroad and protests at home, Poland’s newly appointed Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki published an English-language opinion editorial in the Washington Examiner on December 13 defending the government’s attacks on the independence of the judiciary. Mr Morawiecki claims that criticism stems from “widespread misunderstanding of our plans to reform Poland’s deeply flawed judicial structure.”
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.
Rzeszów in eastern Poland has over the past decade or so become one of the country’s most go-ahead cities. Its mayor Tadeusz Ferenc talks to Andrew Wrobel about the city’s future. Continue reading Growing Rzeszów
Poland and Ukraine, the two largest countries in Emerging Europe, should jointly promote themselves as an outsourcing destination.
“They should create an outsourcing hub and complement one another in their offer,” Iwona Chojnowska-Haponik, director of the Foreign Investment Department at the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH), during the second Polish – Ukrainian Outsourcing Forum in Rzeszów, Poland, organised by the Pro Progressio Foundation.
Judges in central and eastern Europe are under attack.
The most frightening thing about this is that the judges are under attack from their own governments. The authoritarian, populist style governments arising across the region have repeatedly shown that they seek to curtail and control judicial independence, subjecting judges to direct governmental control and limiting their ability to act independently. As an independent branch of the state, the judiciary poses a potential obstacle to those bent on the consolidation of power. The assault on an independent judiciary is part of a larger trend, documented across the region, to stifle dissent, whether it comes from civil society, the media, opposing political factions, or judges acting as an independent check on government actions.
Government reshuffles continue. On the morning of December 7, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło, remained in office when she survived an opposition motion of no confidence,Law and Justice (PiS) deputies voting the motion down. Ten hours later however, she resigned. After a meeting of the governing party its spokesperson, Beata Mazurek, confirmed the political committee had decided to appoint Mateusz Morawiecki, erstwhile deputy prime minister and minister of finance and economic development to replace Mrs Szydło.
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.
Goldman Sachs is expecting to hire around 250 staff in Poland, primarily in operations and technology, risk management, treasury and human resources, all back office roles which do not have to be located in more expensive locations. According to the Polish Association of Business Service Leaders, outsourcing centres opened in the country by foreign companies have added 198,000 jobs so far.
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
Better than expected budget deficits, high growth and low interest costs almost everywhere in CEE have helped the region keep public debt to GDP on a downward path. That is the headline conclusion of a new report published on December 5 by Erste Group, one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern 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.