Sergei Guriev: Emerging Europe Countries are Happy Alike and Unhappy in Their Own Ways

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - 21 JUNE 2014: People on the streets of Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most visited city in Europe with over 5 million visitors every year.

Inclusion and green growth are aspects that some emerging Europe countries have not really started taking seriously enough, so institutions like ours need to further increase support and to invest more in both aspects, says Sergei Guriev, chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He spoke to Andrew Wrobel about global trends that might have an impact on emerging Europe, the region’s prospects for growth and the challenges it is facing. Continue reading Sergei Guriev: Emerging Europe Countries are Happy Alike and Unhappy in Their Own Ways

Transition in Government and the Economy Remains Vital in CEE

Cloudy skies above the Hungarian Parliament Building Budapest.
Christopher A. Hartwell

Christopher A. Hartwell

President of CASE

As the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) holds its annual meeting in Cyprus, the political and economic landscape across transition economies is perhaps one of the most difficult that the EBRD has faced since the early 1990s. The rise of authoritarian populism, the acceleration of centrifugal forces in Europe, and the emergence of Russia as a source of regional instability have all threatened to unravel some of the hard fought gains seen in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the former Soviet Union (FSU). Continue reading Transition in Government and the Economy Remains Vital in CEE

Harris Georgiades: Cyprus’s Restored Business Environment Offers Investment Opportunities

Emerging Europe EBRD Sea port city of Larnaca, Cyprus. This picture was taken through the window of the plane.

Unlocking Cyprus’ investment potential and improving the business environment are among the main priorities of the Government, says Harris Georgiades, Minister of Finance for Cyprus. He spoke to Jerry Cameron about the country’s economic performance, prospects for future growth and the sectors Cyprus plans on developing. Continue reading Harris Georgiades: Cyprus’s Restored Business Environment Offers Investment Opportunities

Günter Verheugen: Populist Politics and Euroscepticism Will Have an Impact on CEE

eu guenter verheugen

With the European Union going through the most turbulent time in its history, new questions are coming up about its future, which, in fact, might be even more challenging. What impact will Brexit have on the EU, what changes will take place in Europe after this year’s elections in France, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic; these are only a few of them.

Günter Verheugen, former European Commissioner for Enlargement and later Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, who played an important role in the EU enlargement process in 2004, spoke to Nikodem Chinowski about the future of the European Union.  Continue reading Günter Verheugen: Populist Politics and Euroscepticism Will Have an Impact on CEE

The Cyprus Dispute: Recognising the Changing Rules of the Conflict

cyprus emerging europe ebrd
Iakov Frizis

Iakov Frizis

an economist at CASE

Despite high hopes, negotiations between Cypriots of Greek and Turkish ethnicity came to an abrupt halt, earlier this year, when the Parliament in Cyprus passed a law to commemorate the 1950 Enosis referendum on political integration with Greece. This represents only the most recent occurrence of an issue which, while not sufficient to wreck the talks, still drives delegates away from the negotiating table. Continue reading The Cyprus Dispute: Recognising the Changing Rules of the Conflict

Albania’s Agribusiness Support Facility – With a Little Help From Your Friends

View of the central square with the monument of Skanderbeg in the Albanian capital Tirana
Matteo Colangeli

Matteo Colangeli

EBRD Head of Albania

Albania boasts rich soil and favourable climatic conditions in the middle of both the Mediterranean and continental zones of Central Europe. This puts Albania in a unique position to grow and harvest a diverse amount of agricultural produce, ranging from fruits and vegetables to and dairy products, to medical and aromatic plants, as well as wheat. Continue reading Albania’s Agribusiness Support Facility – With a Little Help From Your Friends

Greener and More Resilient: Energy Sector Reforms in Serbia for the Benefit of All

Belgrade, Serbia - confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers
Daniel Berg

Daniel Berg

EBRD Head of Serbia

When Serbia started excavating the first lignite mine in the Kolubara coal basin, and constructed the first lignite fired power plants, built with Soviet technology, in the 1950s, electrification was at the cutting edge of industrialisation and the development of the Yugoslav economy. The lignite mines in Kolubara were among the largest in Europe, producing 30 million tonnes of coal. Together with a second mining basin in Kostolac, these two lignite fields supplied the fuel for 55 per cent of Serbia’s power generation capacity. In the 1970s and 1980s coal-fired power plants were built in Obrenovac, including the two huge units of the Nikola Tesla B power plant; built to supply the whole of Yugoslavia. Continue reading Greener and More Resilient: Energy Sector Reforms in Serbia for the Benefit of All

Poland Government’s Development Plan and the EBRD’s Role

Warsaw EBRD annual meeting
Grzegorz Zieliński

Grzegorz Zieliński

EBRD Regional Director, Poland and the Baltics

Although Poland has been one of the best performing European economies for many years, the government wants the country to do even better. The sustainable development plan that was launched last year by Deputy Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, aims to make the economy “more dynamic”. It is based on five pillars: reindustrialisation, development of innovative companies, capital for development, foreign expansion and sustainable social and regional development. Continue reading Poland Government’s Development Plan and the EBRD’s Role

Strengthening the Resilience of the Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Montenegro EBRD annual meeting
Ian Brown

Ian Brown

EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with great potential, but it also faces many challenges. With a population of 3.8 million it is a comparatively small country with a limited market capacity. This means that in order to prosper, the economy must succeed on external markets. Competitiveness and support for regional integration are therefore crucial for strengthening the resilience of the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Continue reading Strengthening the Resilience of the Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ukrainian Agribusiness — a Jewel in a Crown

Wheat ukraine agriculture ebrd
Sevki Acuner

Sevki Acuner

EBRD Head of Ukraine

Ukraine’s favourable geographical location; it’s extremely fertile black soil; decent infrastructure and relatively cheap labour force make the country’s agribusiness sector highly competitive. A lot has been achieved in the country over the past 25 years to enable Ukraine to live up to its status as the “breadbasket of Europe” and to help, at least partly, address the global challenge of sustainable food supply and food security. Continue reading Ukrainian Agribusiness — a Jewel in a Crown

Cyprus: The Green Economy Shows the Way Forward

Cyprus coastline view, turquoise sea, white beaches
Libor Krkoška

Libor Krkoška

EBRD Head of Cyprus

The green economy in Cyprus has great potential. The level of solar irradiance in Cyrus is one of the highest in Europe. At the same time, the island is highly dependent on imported sources of energy, principally highly polluting oil and oil products: The energy system is isolated with no interconnections with neighbouring countries and renewables still account for just above five per cent of energy supply. Continue reading Cyprus: The Green Economy Shows the Way Forward

Leszek Balcerowicz: Ukraine Can Learn from Poland’s Economic History

In 1990, GDP per capita in Poland and Ukraine was roughly the same and amounted to some $1,600. By the end of 2016, Polish GDP grew to $12,700. In 2013, GDP per capita in Ukraine equalled $4,200 but the recent recession has caused it to fall again, to some $2,000.

Leszek Balcerowicz is a former Polish deputy prime minister, and he is known for implementing the Polish economic transformation programme in the 1990s: this was a shock therapy that is commonly referred to as the Balcerowicz Plan. He is a former governor of the National Bank of Poland, and currently, he is Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko’s, representative in the cabinet of ministers. He spoke to Andrew Wrobel about Poland’s transformation in the 1990s and the current government’s economic growth plans, as well as his ideas for the economic development of Ukraine. Continue reading Leszek Balcerowicz: Ukraine Can Learn from Poland’s Economic History

Georgia on My Mind – Where Beauty Meets Business

georgia ebrd emerging europe
Bruno Balvanera

Bruno Balvanera

EBRD Head for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus

Georgia is a beautiful country, blessed with a favourable location at the crossroads between Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Bordering Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey and with access to the sea, Georgia has good transportation links with the entire region and beyond, and it enjoys a free trade agreement with Turkey and the CIS countries as well as an Association Agreement with the EU. Continue reading Georgia on My Mind – Where Beauty Meets Business

The EBRD Helps Jordan’s Infrastructure to Accommodate an Influx of Refugees

ebrd jordan refugees
Heike Harmgart

Heike Harmgart

EBRD Head of Jordan

The conflict in Syria is the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. To date, almost five million people have been forced to flee the country in six years of war. They are seeking a safe haven in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and beyond, while some 13.5 million people are displaced internally. Continue reading The EBRD Helps Jordan’s Infrastructure to Accommodate an Influx of Refugees