Enhancing competitiveness and growth, making use of the digital potential and strengthening the role of the European Union in the global arena are the main objectives of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which commences on January 1, 2015.
There are about 5.5 million students in the region, about 50 per cent more than in 2000. According to UNESCO, that means there are 46 students per 1,000 inhabitants, six more on average than in the European Union. The people are much younger than in Western Europe. Compared to the EU where 82 per cent of the population is below the age of 65, that share is higher by 2 per cent and in countries like Slovakia, Belarus, Poland and Romania is between 85 and 87 per cent.
ICT is one of Romania’s three top sectors. For example, the country’s software market was worth over €570 billion. According to Brainspotting’s Romania IT Talent Map, 2014, Facts and Figures, in 2014, the expansion of the companies was set to create approximately new 5,000 IT jobs.
Poland is the major destination for U.S. investments in Central and Eastern Europe with direct investments worth over €11 billion (out of 29 billion invested in the CEE region in 2012). The actual value of U.S. investments in Poland approaches PLN 91 billion or €22 billion.
The Romanian capital market may still be small but is bound to grow thanks to significant changes it is undergoing. They are related to the organisation, structure, investing culture, market practices and regulations as well as its vision and development strategy of the stock exchange.
Look beyond politics and notice the country’s economic potential is the Belarusian government’s message to potential foreign investors.
Even though the lack of certain necessary regulations, administration hierarchy and decision-making processes can be challenging, they can also be an opportunity to negotiate attractive individual incentives, benefits and privileges.
The European Union’s fastest GDP growth rate of over 4 per cent in 2013 and the recent adoption of the euro are not the only factors that make Latvia an attractive foreign direct investment destination. For example, Mexican CEMEX, one of the world’s largest building materials suppliers and cement producers, chose Latvia almost a decade ago.
In February 2015, fDi Magazine will publish its inaugural Polish Cities of the Future ranking for 2015/16.
“Polish cities have proven their attractiveness for foreign direct investment and are competitive on not just a regional but also a global scale,” says Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief, fDi Magazine, the Financial Times Group. “Now it is time to see how they measure up against each other and what the respective merits of Poland’s many thriving cities are,” she adds.
Emerging Europe economies keep improving their business environment. According to the WorldBank’s Doing Business 2015 report, the number of CEE countries in the Top 50 has grown by 50 per cent since 2010. “That means these countries have introduced a number of regulatory reforms of business environment as seen by local firms,” says Marina Wes, Country Manager for Poland at the World Bank.
Warmia and Mazury, the land of forests and lakes, has an enormous economic and export potential. It is among the leading European producers of meat and meat products, natural and organic food, furniture, yachts and boats. Companies in these sectors operate successfully not only in the Polish market, but more importantly, in foreign markets. International giants like Michelin and Ikea have chosen Warmia and Mazury as their investment location.
After the fall in the number of IPOs in the recent months, the Warsaw Stock Exchange has updated its 2020 strategy today. The burse wants to base its growth on six pillars: a liquid equity market, a developed debt market, a competitive derivatives market, a commodity market attractive to investors, a comprehensive offer of information products for investors and issuers, and new business segments opened based on available competences.
Poland and Central and Eastern Europe are increasingly important for the UK. First, the region was one of the country’s eleven priority trade destinations. In August 2014, MP Daniel Kawczynski, was elected the new chairman of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland and Special Advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron on Central and Eastern Europe and on Eastern Europeans living in the UK.