Meghri Becomes Armenia’s Third FEZ

armenia emerging europe

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

Croatian Salaries Are Growing in Line With Other CEE Countries

Dubrovnik Croatia emerging europe

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

Prospering Czechia Still Needs a Bigger Workforce

prague emerging europe

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

Derek Chollet: There Is a Resurgence of Supporters of the Transatlantic Relationship

white house

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

Changes Are Making Ukrainian Banking More Aligned with International Standards

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

Larisa Manastirli: Where is Bulgaria After Ten Years in the EU?

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?

Western Ukraine Could Be an Entry Point into the Country

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

Lviv Is the Pearl and the Soul of Ukraine

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

Lech Wałęsa: Hard Options Can Force Nations to Get Down to Work

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.

Continue reading Lech Wałęsa: Hard Options Can Force Nations to Get Down to Work

Do Your Homework First and Starting Business in Poland is Easier

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

Ukraine Is Offering Europe Unique Combat and Technological Experience

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

The Reality in Romania Exposes False Perceptions Of The Country

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

World Bank: Brexit Hides Greater Challenges to the European Union and the CEE Region

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

SEE Link — Sharing SEE Europe’s Hopes for a Brighter Investment Future

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.

Continue reading SEE Link — Sharing SEE Europe’s Hopes for a Brighter Investment Future

Chris Lowney — What Jesuit Spirituality Can Teach Us About Global Leadership

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

Mayor: Armenia And Its Capital Yerevan Offer Safe Investment And Tourism To a Growing World

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

EconMin: Bulgaria — Number One Outsourcing Destination And an Island of Stability in Europe

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

Non-Financial Reporting No Longer a Secondary Consideration in CEE

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.

Continue reading Non-Financial Reporting No Longer a Secondary Consideration in CEE

Economy Minister: Internationalisation Is the Key To the Slovenian Economy

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

World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016 Resume For Emerging Europe

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