The global economic environment continues to be challenging. The ‘wounds’ inflicted by the global financial crisis of 2008 have not yet healed completely and world economic growth remains rather subdued. This particularly applies to the advanced countries and especially to the Euro Zone, which is the most important trading partner for the Eastern European countries. Continue reading Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?
Since the end of the 1980s, when the centrally planned Soviet economic system entered the final phase of its agony, at least five rounds of region-wide macroeconomic turbulence (which led to currency crashes) have been recorded. These include: the collapse of the Soviet monetary system (1989-1993), monetary instability and high/hyperinflation in the newly established successor states of the former Soviet Union (FSU) (1992-1995), the Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) financial crisis of 1998-1999, fallout from the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the most recent crisis of 2014-2016. Furthermore, some countries have experienced individual currency crises, such as Belarus in 2000 and 2011. Continue reading The Deep Roots of Currency Crises in the Former Soviet Union
Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, recently announced that his country is unlikely to give the green light to the EU Association’s agreement with Ukraine, following an improvised civic campaign against the deal. The Dutch government is faced with a difficult choice between sacrificing a treaty with immense geopolitical significance and defending it to its own political detriment, thus adding more fuel to the Euro-sceptic fire in the country. Continue reading The Netherlands’ Objection to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement could be Costly to Europe
In autumn 2013, the strong and charismatic Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, announced the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century (in short: One Belt, One Road — OBOR). The project is currently shaping up to be the largest infrastructure-based, financially supported and economically vibrant geostrategic project on the globe today. Continue reading One Belt One Road: a Big Task for Europe
When I meet a foreigner for the first time, the moment I start a conversation about Romania, it seems as if we are discussing a topic where each of us has a completely different view. This proves that there is a significant gap between how people see Romania and what the actual reality is. That makes me determined to show people that Romania means culture, talent and technology. Continue reading Changing Perspectives and Showing That True Romania is a Vibrant Innovative Country
When an emerging economy starts a conscious journey towards international financial markets, in order to attract foreign investments, there are several systemic and important points to consider, especially nowadays in the modern competitive and tumultuous world. Continue reading The Proof of a Country’s Readiness to Attract Foreign Investors Lies in the Development of the Insurance Market
This has been a rough year for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in terms of governance, with neighbours Poland and Ukraine seeing the biggest challenges. Continue reading History as Destiny? Institutional Erosion in Ukraine and Poland
With street names like Komsomolskaya, Karl Marx and Lenin, it is easy to portray Belarus as a remnant of the Soviet Union. The truth is more interesting, like a painting by Marc Chagall, one of Belarus’ illustrious sons. Continue reading Belarus and the EBRD:
Working to Expand the Country’s Strengths and Success
The longevity of Belarus’ president, Aleksander Lukashenko, owes as much to the structure of the country’s economy as it does to his sharp and often criticised leadership skills, which have resulted in a narrowing of the political space and the suppression of opposition. Continue reading Winds of Change for Belarus’ Reinsurance Industry?
“Republika Srpska (RS) is a state and Russia is its ally”. Milorad Dodik, the president of the predominantly Serb entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina, is not someone known for mincing his words. Continue reading A Bosnian Referendum Shows Russia’s Influence in the Balkans—As Well As Its Limits
Since the current Polish government came into power, last year, they have advocated the need to tighten up the existing tax system. They maintain that the current situation calls for a system that is more efficient and effective and they are looking to find ways to increase the budget’s income without hiking up the tax rates. They have inherited a tax system from the liberal government, which was in power for eight years (between 2007 and 2015), which is in deep crisis — the tax share of the GDP has fallen from 17 per cent to 14 per cent. Continue reading Polish Tax Laws — Fighting a Winning Battle Against Tax Evaders
With an average growth rate of 10 per cent over the last decade and an increasingly affluent population of 1.3 billion people, China is a dream market for many companies, including those based in Central and Eastern Europe. Small and medium firms are excited by the prospects of the Chinese domestic consumption because Chinese consumers are literally hungry for goods from the EU. In the past five years, exports from the EU to China have grown by 9.8 per cent, to €160 billion, while exports from China to the EU have only increased by 1.6 per cent. Continue reading China: A Giant That Is Hard to Crack