Ukraine is the UK’s offshoring destination of the year according to the Global Sourcing Association (GSA) UK. The GSA looked at the outsourcing market from the perspective of the United Kingdom, the world’s second-largest outsourcing market. Continue reading GSA Names Ukraine as UK’s Offshoring Destination of the Year
Romania’s Finance Minister Ionuț Mișa announced on October 16 that the rate of income tax would be reduced to 10 per cent from January 1, 2018. The current rate of income tax in the country is 16 per cent. At the same time he also announced the introduction of what has been called a ‘solidarity’ tax of 2 per cent on labour, to be paid by employers. It too will be applied from January 1, 2018. Continue reading Romania Cuts Income Tax, Introduces Solidarity Tax
Georgia’s economy grew by 4.7 per cent in the first two quarters of 2017, a big increase on the 2016 whole-year figure of 2.7 per cent. Exports are booming, and the unemployment rate is lower than it has been for years. Continue reading Georgia’s Growth Continues
More than 350,000 Dacia-branded cars were sold across the European Union and EFTA countries in the first nine months of 2017, an increase of more than 10 per cent on 2016. Dacia, owned by Renault, now has a 2.5 per cent share of the European market. The figures were released on October 16 by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). Continue reading Romanian Car Maker Dacia Sees Sales Boom
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
The Belarusian authorities are switching from control to prevention. President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree in October minimising the interference of oversight and auditing agencies in business operations. Continue reading Belarus Introduces New Business-Friendly Auditing Procedures
Poland is Central and Eastern Europe’s leader in technology, with 19 companies ranked in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe 2017 report. The speed of growth among Central Europe’s technology companies continues to accelerate, with the average hitting a new record of 1,127 per cent, the report says. Continue reading CEE Tech Growth Continues: Poland and the Czech Republic Lead the Way
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
The consortium constructing the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is investing a total of 800 million euros in Albania in 2017-2018, a sum which represents the largest single input of FDI in the country. (FDI for the whole country is approximately 1.5 billion euros). TAP will additionally create job opportunities for Albanian companies during construction. More than 2,800 people are already working directly for the project. Continue reading Trans Adriatic Pipeline Will Fuel Albanian Growth
A lack of commercial property at acceptable prices is forcing some of the largest Czech investment funds to seek better deals abroad. The leading Czech real estate fund ČS Nemovitostní Fond bought an office building in Warsaw for more than 116 million euros early in August 2017, and in September acquired Galeria Słoneczna, a shopping centre in Radom, for 164 million euros. The ČS Nemovitostní Fond, which is the oldest and largest shared fund in the country, has also been buying up property in neighbouring countries in recent months. Continue reading High Real Estate Prices at Home Force Czech Investors Abroad
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
The registration of new diesel and petrol cars in Slovenia will be forbidden after 2030. The government has adopted a strategy on the use of alternative fuels in the transport sector requiring that the total carbon footprint of a car must be less than 50 g of CO2 per kilometre, a standard which currently only electrical vehicles and plug-in hybrids meet. Continue reading Slovenia Sets Green Vehicle Deadline of 2030
By September 2018, Poland will no longer be ranked by FTSE Russell as an Emerging Market (FTSE Emerging All Cap), but as a Developed Market (FTSE Developed All Cap Ex-US). This will place the country together with 24 other nations including Germany, France, Japan and Australia. Poland is the first Central and Eastern European economy to be upgraded to Developed Market status. Continue reading Poland to Switch from Emerging to Developed Market by September 2018
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
The VW Group, which owns Czech carmaker Škoda Auto, has rejected claims that it will shift some production to Germany. Instead, the group has decided to diversify three brands, Volkswagen, SEAT and Škoda.
Continue reading Škoda too Strong for VW Group
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
The International Monetary Fund expects the UK economy to grow slower this year and has cut its forecast from 2 per cent to 1.7 per cent. For now, the forecast for 2018 remains unchanged at 1.5 per cent. In the aftermath of last June’s referendum the economy initially proved resilient but in recent months – largely driven by a tumble in the value of the pound – inflation has spiked to almost 3 per cent, squeezing real wages. Continue reading UK Economic Growth Slows as Brexit Uncertainty Bites
Romanian politics has once again been thrust into turmoil by clashes within the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD). For a party which less than a year ago comfortably won a general election, the PSD is currently looking surprisingly ragged. Opinion polls suggest that the party has lost almost a quarter of its supporters since last December’s election, and the prime minister, Mihai Tudose, is in open conflict with the party’s leader Liviu Dragnea. Mr Tudose is not currently, however, expected to face the same fate as his predecessor Sorin Grindeanu, forced out of office in June after the PSD voted to bring down its own government. Continue reading Romanian Cabinet Reshuffled as New Splits Emerge in Ruling Party
Poland will adopt the euro only after the reform of the eurozone has been completed and if there are strong economic arguments supporting the currency’s adoption. According to Leszek Skiba, deputy minister of finance, the Polish government is currently not taking any measures to enter the eurozone as the currency’s future is not clear. Continue reading Poland Stays Cool on Euro Adoption
The Serbian government, in partnership with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) plans to construct a 320-hectare Chinese-Serbian industrial park near Pupin Bridge in Belgrade. Continue reading China Agrees to Build Hi Tech Business Park in Serbia
Germany remains the primary destination for Poles looking to work abroad. According to Poland’s Centre for Public Opinion Research (CBOS), in 2016, 41 per cent of Poles working abroad chose the country’s Western neighbour, although there have been years when as many as 48 per cent of Poles abroad worked in Germany. There are two reasons Germany remains favourite: an average monthly salary of 3,700 euros — one of the highest in Europe — and the proximity of the labour market. Continue reading Poles Still Keen on German Jobs
The leader of Albania’s Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, has accused the country’s new government of being “the result of drug money,” going on to say that prime minister Edi Rama had killed, via June 25th’s elections, an agreement made jointly with the Democrats to enact constitutional and electoral reform. Continue reading Albania’s Economy Booms Despite Political Infighting
Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) has announced expansion plans both on the ground and in the air. The state-run carrier, with its head office and flight operations at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku, wants to create a free economic zone on the airport’s territory Continue reading Growth Continues for State-Owned Azerbaijan Airlines
The global economy is speeding up but caution is needed. That was the message from leading economists after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased its growth forecasts, with global output growth no expected to increase from 3.2 per cent in 2016 to 3.6 per cent this year, and 3.7 per cent in 2018. But the global economy’s recent recovery may not last, despite a pickup in activity in all western countries except the UK. High asset prices, rapid credit growth in China, political turmoil in Catalonia and a cliff-edge Brexit are the primary risks. Continue reading IMF Increases Growth Forecast With Emerging Europe Prominent
CEE economies are stable and represent only a moderate to low risk, claims a report published by Atradius, a global trade credit insurer. The report focuses on the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Turkey, and also this year includes Romania and Bulgaria, due to their long-term growth potential. Continue reading Still Potential for Growth in CEE as Economies Stabilise
More than a quarter of all invoices issued in Romania are paid late or not at all, a new report suggests. The study into European payment patterns, carried out by TNS for debt recovery specialist EOS, shows that 23 per cent of invoices are paid late, while 4 per cent are never paid at all. The rate is slightly above the average for the region (25 per cent). The best performers in Emerging Europe are Poland and the Czech Republic, where 80 per cent of payments are made on time. Continue reading Bad Payers Still Causing Problems for Romanian Firms
With deep government pockets, technical sophistication and a comprehensive investment plan behind it, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can have a big impact on the transformation of the Western Balkans. There are caveats, not least debt dependency on cheap Chinese loans, but a proactive approach throughout the region could bring welcome development for many in countries that are not prime investment destinations. Continue reading CEE Is Key to China’s Belt and Road Initiative
The European Union continues to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belarus, and is set to provide 6 million euros in additional funds as part of the EBRD’s Advice for Small Business (ASB) programme. Continue reading More EU Help for Belarus SMEs
Integration is key, says Matthias Ruete, the European Commission’s chief of migration and home affairs. He spoke to Nikodem Chinowski about the impact of refugees and immigration on the economies and labour markets in the CEE region and the actions that the European Commission is planning to undertake on refugee camps in Serbia and Hungary. Continue reading Beyond Borders: Immigration Within the EU
Innovation and excellence across all its operations: this is the definition given to the Lithuanian Global Business Services (GBS) sector by the latest Invest Lithuania report. Over the past eight years, the Baltic country has strengthened its position as a go-to destination for business services in Northern and Central Eastern Europe, with 41 business centres located in Vilnius alone, while several other towns throughout the country, including Kaunas and Klaipeda, are also growing in importance. Continue reading Lithuania Handed Top Marks for Business Services
News is spreading. Long viewed by Western European and American financial institutions as a safe place to do business, private and public investment funds from parts as distant as Asia and Africa now view Central and Eastern Europe as more attractive than some western economies. That’s the headline finding of a new report jointly published by Skanska, JLL and Dentons. In the first half of 2017, investors spent approximately 5.6 billion euros across the region, 10 per cent more than the first half of 2016. Continue reading Global Players Dash for Tempting CEE
The Baltic States are set to launch several private capital and venture capital investment funds, sending a clear message that the region wants to be in lockstep with technologically more advanced Western European and Nordic countries. Continue reading Baltics Seek Lockstep With High Tech States
In a bizarre outburst Varujan Vosganian, an MP for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), part of Romania’s ruling coalition, said that subsistence farming was denying the country’s budget billions of euros every year. Continue reading Chickens Blamed for Romanian Budget Deficit
Lithuania’s Economy Ministry plans to make mergers and acquisitions easier from 2018. Draft amendments to the competition law will see the level of turnover before any merger needs to be referred to the regulator (Lithuania’s Competition Council; LKT) increase from 1.45 million to 2 million euros. In instances where several companies are being consolidated into one, the Economy Ministry is proposing the limit be raised from 14.5 million to 20 million euros. Continue reading Lithuania Set to Streamline Competition Legislation
Uncertainty about the process and outcome of Brexit negotiations, coupled with a potentially short timeframe for change, is already impacting investment and commercial decisions. But this is not the only finding of the report ‘Brexit — the Voices of European Business,’ which was carried out by the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE). Continue reading More Brexit Fears As the UK Proves To Be A Needed Member
Moldova has launched the new e-procurement system (MTender), in order to improve transparency and increase the opportunities for private companies to acquire public contracts. Continue reading Moldova Launches New e-Procurement System In Search For Positive Change
Currently, around 7 million mainly young, skilled and educated Bulgarian, Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, Slovaks and Romanians (CEE-6) live and work in Western Europe. The return of even a relatively small portion of these would boost regional GDP, for example, by stimulating the development of real estate markets. Continue reading CEE Emigrants Could Boost Their Countries’ Economies
The Georgian Government’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings have been upgraded and the outlook remains stable. Continue reading Effective Policies Have Strengthened the Georgian Economy
Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, demands that the European Union refund 400 million euros, which is half the cost of Hungary’s border defence measures, in return for “protecting all the citizens of Europe from the flood of illegal migrants.” Continue reading Hungary Today: Potential and Challenge
In 2016, 500 of the largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe generated a turnover of 580 billion euros, says the Coface CEE Top 500 report. Polish companies increased their turnover by 3.3 per cent, while the turnover in Hungarian and Czech firms decreased by 11.5 and 2.2 per cent respectively. With two companies located in Poland— Orlen and Jeronimo Martins, and one each in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia (Škoda, MOL and Volkswagen, respectively), the top five lacks a Romanian business. However, this might change in the coming years. Continue reading Automotive and Transport Companies Dominate the CEE Region
Poland’s deputy prime minister and minister of economic development and finance has a new plan to attract investment. Mateusz Morawiecki wants to replace the existing 14 special economic zones with one that will cover the entire country. The new law is expected to come into effect at the beginning of 2018. Continue reading Poland Is Set To Become a Large Economic Zone
GE has launched a recruitment campaign for its Power’s Grid Software Solutions (SWS) centre in Bucharest. GE Power’s Grid Solutions, which helps enable utilities and industry to effectively manage electricity from the point of generation to the point of consumption, serves customers globally with over 19,000 employees in approximately 80 countries. Continue reading GE Inaugurates Its New Bucharest Software Centre
Can a single economic space spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok exist? Is a closer collaboration between the European Union (EU) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) possible? The time will show but the idea has already been developed and has been included in the Berlin Memorandum. Continue reading Doing Business Across Eurasia Could Be Easier
The Sarajevo Stock Exchange (SASE) became an active member of the SEE Link network, enabling trading on the respective market. The SASE is the fourth stock exchange that has actively joined SEE Link after three founding stock exchanges and the seventh stock exchange in a row. Continue reading Sarajevo Stock Exchange Connected to SEE Link
Moody’s expects the positive economic momentum in Poland to continue for the rest of the year. The rating agency’s optimism resulted from the year-over-year real GDP growth of 3.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, published by the Central Statistical Office at the end of August. Continue reading Poland’s Q2 2017 Growth Is Stronger Than Expected
The Croatian economy is among the least unstable economies, Bloomberg global risk index reports. Out of 82 countries evaluated, the country ranks ninth, while in the top three we find Hong Kong, Switzerland and Singapore. The US closes the index. Continue reading A Risky Evaluation of Croatia’s Economy?
The fuel and energy-related industries are allegedly corrupted areas of the Ukrainian economy, a recent report suggests. According to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the damages amount to UAH 20 billion (€650 million). Continue reading Investigations Into the Corrupt Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Sectors
The first Digital Business Space has opened its doors in Sarajevo; helping the city reach the level of other advanced metropolises. The concept, which was developed by the South Eastern European Business Agency (SEEBA), aims to offer business people a working place in the city centre. Continue reading Digital Business Space Gives All Businesses an Office in Sarajevo
Jadranka Joksimović, Serbian minister of European integration, believes that Serbia’s strategic role is in connecting — connecting economies, people, even policies. She spoke to Nikodem Chinowski about the EU integration process, difficult neighbour relations with Croatia and Kosovo, and about the idea of the Balkan single market. Continue reading Jadranka Joksimović: Serbia Takes Its Candidacy of the EU Seriously
Serbia, Belarus and Ukraine are amongst the least open for business out of the 80 economies included in the recent ‘Best countries to start a business’ report by US News & World Report, the Wharton Business School and BAV Consulting. The countries rank 75th, 77th and 78th respectively. Continue reading Serbia, Belarus and Ukraine Ranked Lowly by Wharton Business School
The first non-EU entrepreneurs have completed the application process and are about to establish their businesses in Lithuania, within the government’s Startup Visa programme. The Startup Visa legislation, which was approved in 2016 and is now fully operational, makes it easier for non-EU nationals to get a temporary residence permit, provided they operate in an innovative field and have enough financial resources to achieve their goals for one year. Continue reading Lithuania Gives Innovation a StartUp
Over 90 per cent of the $956.8 million Belarusian IT market is external and involves exports. In 2016, the share of IT exports, in the country’s total exports of goods and services, accounted for 3.25 per cent, up from 0.16 per cent in 2015, according to EY’s ‘The IT Industry in Belarus: 2017 and Beyond’ report. Continue reading EY: Belarus’ IT Scene Is Thriving
In Q2 2017, Latvia was the second fastest growing economy amongst 21 EU member states, and after Romania. According to Eurostat’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted data, published in mid-August, the country’s GDP expanded by 4.8 per cent year-on-year. Continue reading Latvia Urged Not to Increase Expenditure As Economy Grows
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?
The Albanian construction sector is the biggest accelerator of the country’s economy. According to the Bank of Albania, it contributed to economic growth by 1.0 percentage point in Q1 2017. Continue reading Albania’s Construction Sector Supports the Country’s Growth
Instead of using the Lithuanian ports, Belarus should use Russia’s Baltic ports in the Gulf of Finland, Saint Petersburg and Ust Luga, to transport its oil products made from Russian crude oil, said Russian president, Vladimir Putin during his recent visit to Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. Continue reading Putin Urges Belarus to End Oil Transit Through Lithuania
Ukrainian Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman, vows to restart privatisation, which is a strict condition of the next bailout tranches granted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for the autumn of 2017. That is why the government has pledged to sell the Odessa Portside Chemical Plant as well as the shares in eight regional electricity suppliers. Continue reading Ukraine to Restart Privatisation to Realise Profits
Private equity and venture capital investments into companies in Central and Eastern Europe reached a total of €1.6 billion in 2016 — the highest amount since 2009, according to recent Invest Europe’s data. Continue reading PE and VC Investment In CEE Is At an Eight-Year High
Half of Polish employers say they already face recruitment challenges which impact their companies’ development, says the latest Work Service report ‘Labour Market Barometer VIII.’ A third of them are struggling with personnel deficiencies, which prevents them from completing new contracts. Every eighth business has been forced to retreat from planned investments because of a shortage of candidates. Continue reading Polish Labour Market Deficits Are Impacting All
In the first half of 2017, Riga-based airBaltic carried 1.56 million passengers to destinations spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. Continue reading Air Passenger Volumes Reach Record High in the Baltics
RuchTech, an American fibre laser manufacturer and a subsidiary of IPG Photonics Corporation, has set up in the Great Stone Industrial Park located on the outskirts of Belarus’ capital city of Minsk. Within the next two years the investor is planning on constructing a plant that will produce various types of laser equipment, both for industrial and medical purposes. Continue reading 21st century Manufacturing Arrives at Great Stone
The Bulgarian city of Varna ranks first among the 22 cities evaluated by the World Bank’s Doing Business in the European Union 2017, as far as starting a business is concerned. Continue reading Business Standards Are High in SEE But Vary Widely
In Q2 2017, the Romanian economy expanded by 5.9 per cent, compared to the same period in 2016, according to a preliminary estimate by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The figure marked an acceleration from Q1’s 5.7 per cent expansion and vastly overshot the market’s expectations of a slowdown to 4.8 per cent.
Continue reading Romanian Economy Grows Fast in 2017
Polish employers’ organisations are pressing the government to continue working on the, so called, Business Constitution, in a letter sent to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Economic Development and Finance, Mateusz Morawiecki. Continue reading Poland’s Business Constitution Must Be Finalised
The government of Armenia has set up the Meghri Free Economic Zone, close to its border with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The project, managed by the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, aims to increase export-oriented production in Armenia and to attract more investors. This will be thanks to a preferential trade regime with the European Union and its being a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on one hand, and a common border with Iran, on the other. Continue reading Meghri Becomes Armenia’s Third FEZ
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
Salaries in Slovenia and Croatia are growing faster than in the five other countries that made up former Yugoslavia. According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, Slovenia pays the highest salary in the region at €1,050.78, immediately followed by Croatia where the average monthly salary amounts to €813.1, which is an increase of €63,47 compared to 2016. At the bottom we find the Republic of Macedonia with only €372,55. Continue reading Croatian Salaries Are Growing in Line With Other CEE Countries
Czechia has the lowest unemployment in the European Union, at 2.9 per cent, says the recent Eurostat report. The country is followed by Germany (3.8 per cent) and Malta (4.1 per cent). Even though there are countries with lower labour costs, Czechia’s costs are still significantly lower than in Western Europe; the average hourly wage cost in the country is only €10.20 compared to €24.40. So, what else makes Czechia an attractive business destination? Continue reading Prospering Czechia Still Needs a Bigger Workforce
In Q2 2017, Ukraine’s GDP growth rate reached +0.6 per cent, compared to -0.3 per cent in Q1. Continue reading Ukraine’s Q2 Growth Climbs
When the war in the Donbass started, she joined the battalion that fought to retain the territory for the country. She was arrested by Russian separatists in June 2014, and, after one month, taken away to Russia. Nadiya Savchenko is one of the most recognised Ukrainians; a pilot-navigator, a deputy of the Supreme Council of Ukraine and, first of all, a symbol of the fight for the freedom and independence of Ukraine. She talked to Krzysztof Tadej about what kept her alive during the 706 days she spent in a Russian prison.
What was the worst thing after you were arrested in 2014?
Desolation. Being alone in prison is one of the worst and most difficult challenges for anyone. Few can endure it. It was one of the methods they used on me in Russia. They isolated me and said Ukraine did not exist anymore, that there was no one who was waiting for me. I had to fight it. I looked into their eyes and replied: “I am Ukraine!”
Were you terrified when separatists threatened you with beating and rape?
I tried to tell myself that this is just an indication of human aggression. When they take you into captivity, this is what they do: they beat you and threaten you with rape. I tried to convince myself that it was only temporary, that it would not last forever. In such a situation, you need to remain calm and not to provoke the enemy.
Did your faith in God help you in those difficult situations?
I cannot say I am very religious or that I observe all the duties and obligations that come with faith. But I know that God exists. This helped me in prison. I knew that I was not alone, that there was a power that kept me in this world.
You once said that your parents’ attitude, and your childhood, had a huge impact on your personality.
Well, I often rebelled. But it was during my childhood that my parents taught me that it is me who is responsible for my life; no one else. In this way, courage was born in me.
My parents were people of their era. They lived in the Soviet Union, in a system, whose goal was to brainwash people. But in every human being, regardless of their circumstances, something humane remains. I am glad that my parents were able to preserve some beautiful virtues that proved their humanity, their morality. And independent thinking – my father was in the [Communist] Party but in difficult moments he would say: “Oh God, oh my God…” Mother often reproved: “You appeal to God even though you belong to the Party?!” But he was in the Party only because he wanted to have a job; to earn a living and support us.
We are having this conversation at a time when Ukraine is being discussed less and less in the international media. It is as if the world has forgotten that in some parts of your country there is still a war, and some of its parts are still occupied.
The worst thing is that the conflict that was previously a regular war has become “frozen” now. It is a very bad scenario. With Ukraine’s problems with the economy and corruption, this conflict will be holding up the country’s development. This can be solved, but – in my opinion – it is impossible with the politicians who ruling both Ukraine and Russia today.
At the same time we shouldn’t forget that nothing lasts forever. I hope that soon we will take a giant leap forward, and that awareness that nothing is impossible will be born in people’s minds. My dream is that soon Ukraine will unite with all territories that are occupied today.
In your opinion, is it realistically possible, that Crimea will be recovered?
If we look at it within the context of various historical processes, this will be a short period of time, but for us, contemporary people, this may take long years.
Are you going to run for the presidential elections in Ukraine?
Fate has cast me into this fight, but you know… I do not really like this job. Today, Ukraine needs a person who will not be afraid of responsibility and who will be willing to devote all their power to make people’s lives more dignified. I am not this kind of person. We have a young team and a number of wise and active people. But if it is necessary, and if the citizens of the Ukraine consider it is me, I will not refuse. I am not afraid of hard work.
Joe Biden, former US vice-president, said of you that “your strength sets the example for Ukrainians and for the world”. After you had been set free and come back to the country, you were honoured with the Order of the Gold Star as a Hero of Ukraine. How has all of what you endured – imprisonment, threatening, isolation – changed you? Do you still have aversion or suspicions towards others?
Imprisonment and war make people more brutal, and tougher. But the most important thing is to remain human and not become an animal.
Yes, I still feel some discomfort and what I have experienced is still in me. But when I am with other people, I try not to show anger. Quite the contrary – I want to show good feelings. I go to people with an optimistic attitude. I have something that is of the utmost importance in my heart: love for Ukraine and a dream that it remains great and wonderful.
The article was originally published by Polish Niedziela. It has been edited, translated and reprinted with permission.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a hybrid that does not work,” Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, one of two constitutional and legal entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), said in May 2017. He is convinced that a referendum on the independence of this region will eventually take place. Continue reading Bosnia and Herzegovina: Focussing on Stability and Business Climate
In 2017, Armenia’s GDP is expected to grow by 3.2 per cent, says Vardan Aramyan, Armenia’s Minister of Finance. He spoke to Andrew Wrobel about the country’s growing macroeconomic stability and predictability, as well as the reforms that are improving the business climate. Continue reading After Economic Shocks Armenia Plans for Macroeconomic Stability
After eight years of a coherent US foreign policy on Europe, under the Obama administration, the Old Continent now finds itself with the polar opposite in the White House. Will the remnants of Obama’s policy outlive the Trump era?
Derek Chollet is former US Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs, vice president and senior advisor for security and defence policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He spoke to Santiago de la Presilla about the future of the transatlantic relationship. Continue reading Derek Chollet: There Is a Resurgence of Supporters of the Transatlantic Relationship
In January 2014, €1 cost about 11 Hryvnias (UAH) and $1, almost eight. At the end of December 2016, these foreign currencies were bought at close to 28 and 27 Hryvnias, respectively. However, depreciation is not the only challenge the National Bank of Ukraine has had to face.
Dmytro Sologub, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), spoke to Andrew Wrobel about the recent nationalisation of PrivatBank, the country’s largest bank, about the reforms of the banking system and development prospects for the financial sector, as well as the future of FDI in Ukraine. Continue reading Changes Are Making Ukrainian Banking More Aligned with International Standards
In November 2016, Bulgarian opposition Socialist, Rumen Radev, won the presidential election, defeating the centre-right speaker of parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, an ally of Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov. The PM had pledged to step down if his candidate lost, and he did thus triggering an early election.
Larisa Manastirli, Director for Bulgaria at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is a leading investor in the Bulgarian economy, spoke to Andrew Wrobel, about the reforms the country has introduced and the improvements that are still required, ten years after Bulgaria joined the European Union. Continue reading Larisa Manastirli: Where is Bulgaria After Ten Years in the EU?
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
The Belarusian economy is expected to grow by 0.7 per cent in 2017, says the outlook from FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Belarus — November 2016. That growth will help GDP to slightly exceed the 2014 per capita figure of $7,048, by 2020. Continue reading Belarus’ Economy Is Slowly Recovering From Past Declines
Lviv is the important cultural, economic and scientific centre of western Ukraine. Its architectural charm and cultural heritage have earned the city the nickname, Pearl of Ukraine. It is also a modern city that is looking towards a bright future thanks to the development of the IT sector.
Andriy Sadovyi, Mayor of Lviv, spoke to Andrew Wrobel about his city’s key sectors, his future vision for the city and the amazing ambiance that makes Lviv a must-see on the European tourist map. Continue reading Lviv Is the Pearl and the Soul of Ukraine
Over the last quarter of a century, the region of Central and Eastern Europe has undergone a huge transformation in all possible fields with a special emphasis on the economy, politics and social affairs. The transformation is not yet complete, so the shape of the CEE countries is still changing rapidly.
Lech Wałęsa, the first freely-elected president of Poland, the co-founder of the Solidarity Movement and a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1983, talked to Nikodem Chinowski about economic and social transformations in the CEE, the future of the Visegrad Group and NATO and about his concept of introducing the globo-dollar as a worldwide currency.
New VAT forms that companies submit to the tax office and an updated list of products and services with a lower VAT rate are only a few of the procedures that have resulted from the Ministry of Finance’s five recent decrees. In July 2016, the Parliament approved new amendments to the VAT law in order to reduce informal economy. The Ministry of Justice plans on fighting the informal sector even further with terms of imprisonment for up to 25 years for tax fraud. Provisions against tax evasion have recently been introduced. Continue reading Do Your Homework First and Starting Business in Poland is Easier
Since it obtained full sovereignty from the Soviet Union, in 1991, Ukraine has remained suspended somewhere between the East and the West, being pulled closer to one or the other by various administrations. Now, paradoxically, an important stimulus for defining the future identity of this country of over 40 million has come, with the Russian occupation of the eastern part of Ukraine in 2014.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, spoke to Nikodem Chinowski about the prospects for integration with NATO and the European Union and about the development of the Ukrainian economy, a few days ahead of the 25th anniversary of the country’s independence. Continue reading Ukraine Is Offering Europe Unique Combat and Technological Experience
In 2015, foreign companies invested almost $3.4 billion in Romania, which is also the average FDI that the country has attracted in the last four years, according to the World Investment Report 2016. In 2016, Romania is expected to be the EU’s fastest growing economy. Will that growth help the country increase FDI into the country?
Manuel Costescu, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy of Romania, is responsible for foreign direct investment as the Head of InvestRomania. He talked to Andrew Wrobel about the country’s new investment promotion strategy, Romania’s key sectors and the successes the country has achieved in fighting corruption and improving its business climate. Continue reading The Reality in Romania Exposes False Perceptions Of The Country
Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which joined the European Union between 2004 and 2013, have seen rising standards of living and are ranked amongst some of the most socially advanced countries worldwide, according to the Social Progress Index (SPI). Continue reading EU Membership and Transition into Market Economies Have Helped CEE Achieve Social Progress
Today, people across the United Kingdom are casting a vote that could change their country, but which could also transform European politics. The Remain camp claims that leaving the EU will be detrimental to Britain’s economy. Their opponents say the detriment to the UK of staying in the EU far outweighs the risks of leaving. They believe the Eurozone has been a disaster and maintain that it’s very important for Britain to regain control of their own borders.
Dr Arup Banerji, Regional Director for the European Union countries for the World Bank Group, talked to Andrew Wrobel about the impact of Brexit on Central and Eastern Europe. They also discussed other challenges that the European Union is currently facing that concern the CEE region and the solutions that might help address these. Continue reading World Bank: Brexit Hides Greater Challenges to the European Union and the CEE Region
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
SEE Link was officially launched at the end of March 2016, and is growing rapidly in terms of its member exchanges. The shared platform, which was originally set up by the stock exchanges in Zagreb, Sofia and Skopje, aims to rationalise and connect the relatively small capital markets of south-eastern Europe. It now has four new members that applied and will be connected to the platform this year: Ljubljana, Belgrade, Montenegro and Banja Luka. In addition the Athens Stock Exchange has recently submitted membership application and Bucharest intends to do so later this year.
In 1983, Chris Lowney left the Jesuit seminary he had been studying with from the age of 18 to work as an investment banker and then managing director for J.P. Morgan. Since leaving the bank in 2001 he has written four books and has been involved in a number of philanthropic efforts, including chairing the board of Catholic Health Initiatives, America’s second largest not-for-profit hospital and healthcare system. Continue reading Chris Lowney — What Jesuit Spirituality Can Teach Us About Global Leadership
In 2015, 1.19 million foreign tourists visited Armenia. That is one per cent fewer than in 2014, as the country attracted fewer visitors from Russia, but almost ten per cent more than in 2013. The country is also one of the ten safest destinations in the world, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2015. International airlines such as Air France and LOT fly to Yerevan regularly and Qatar Airways will begin flights in mid-May, 2016. Continue reading Mayor: Armenia And Its Capital Yerevan Offer Safe Investment And Tourism To a Growing World
In 2015, Bulgaria was named the best outsourcing destination by the UK’s National Outsourcing Association (NOA), and the BPO sector’s contribution to the country’s economy amounts to 3 per cent. In addition to this, the Bulgarian government is aiming to improve the country’s business climate by offering a range of incentives for foreign investors as well as individuals. The country currently has the lowest rate of personal income tax in the European Union and it offers fiscal citizenship to foreign nationals, working in Bulgaria. Continue reading EconMin: Bulgaria — Number One Outsourcing Destination And an Island of Stability in Europe
The number of non-financial reports is growing and according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), around 5,000 sustainability reports enter the global market, annually with 40 per cent out of those coming from Europe. A group of strong leaders, in non-financial reporting, has already been established in Central and Eastern Europe. The Deloitte CE Top 500 ranks the largest companies from CEE countries and 109 of them already have some form of non-financial reporting in place or at least will report non-financial data for 2015.
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
According to the European Commission, the Slovenian economy grew by 3.0 and 2.5 per cent in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Slovenia also has 83 per cent of the EU average GDP per capita, making them, together with the Czechs, one of the most affluent nations in emerging Europe.
Emerging Europe spoke to Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, about the country’s plans for further growth, privatisation and their approach to foreign investors. Continue reading Economy Minister: Internationalisation Is the Key To the Slovenian Economy
“External factors should be generally supportive, with stronger growth momentum within the EU, low interest rates and quantitative easing by the ECB, subdued commodity prices and the stabilisation in Russia,” Paul Gamble, Senior Director at Sovereign Group, Fitch Ratings, tells Emerging-Europe.com. Continue reading Fitch And the World Bank: Economic Growth To Remain Solid Within CEE In 2016
Almost every single economy in emerging Europe implemented at least one reform in the last year to improve their business environment. In consequence, as many as 16 economies in the region are featured in the Top 50 of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report. Emerging Europe speaks to Rita Ramalho, Manager of the World Bank–IFC Doing Business, who has compiled a resume about the emerging Europe region especially for us, about how the reforms introduced have helped make doing business easier across the region. Continue reading World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016 Resume For Emerging Europe