Measure, Strengthen, and Grow

dacia brand

Almost three decades since the fall of communism, emerging Europe brands still do not shine as bright as their western counterparts.

The latest Nation Brands report, published by Brand Finance, shows how Brand Romania, Brand Slovakia, Brand Bulgaria and other nation brands from emerging Europe are much weaker and less valuable than their western neighbours — and with a long way to go before they can carry their economies in times of distress. Perceived higher market risk has also been reflected in lower FDI and M&A flows over the past three decades.

Continue reading Measure, Strengthen, and Grow

All for One, and One for All


The lead sentence from Dumas’s Three Musketeers, symbolising team work and cooperation towards a common goal, came into my mind at our recent event, the CEE Supply Chain Dialogue, organised with the participation of Hungarian, Polish, Croatian, Czech, Romanian, Serbian and Slovenian government organisations, investment agencies, and export banks. Our aim with the event was to discuss opportunities to better connect SMEs in CEE to the global economy via GE’s supply chain, and ways in which GE can catalyse and support this process. Clearly a case of ‘all for one and one for all.’

Continue reading All for One, and One for All

Is the Level of Foreign Ownership a Problem in Emerging Europe?

Flags of European countries flying from their capital cities. Viewed from the South.

Economic strategies are being questioned in several countries, both in Emerging Europe and elsewhere. Politicians have proposed more nationalist economic approaches, and in some cases are acting on them, in both Hungary and Poland as well as the US and the UK. In the former two emerging Europe countries, governments have consciously adopted policies of promoting nationally owned businesses, ostensibly out of concern that excessive foreign ownership hurts the country’s welfare. Continue reading Is the Level of Foreign Ownership a Problem in Emerging Europe?

Why Hungary’s New NGO Law Is Harmful for Business

Budapest, Hungary. Aerial view of the old city Budapest, Hungary with river and Parliament Building with cloudy blue sky

The new non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) law in Hungary made international headlines; however, the crackdown on independent NGOs, trying to hold the government accountable, is not a new phenomenon in Hungary. The newly adopted law is about the transparency of foreign funded organisations. Despite its title, the law does not further transparency, but rather serves as a tool to stigmatise independent voices. Continue reading Why Hungary’s New NGO Law Is Harmful for Business

Partnership is the Key to CEE-Indian Business

India’s progress in the last two decades has been unique. Traditionally, the manufacturing sector is viewed as the key engine of economic growth. Western countries, China and South East Asia grew largely due to growth in manufacturing sector, but India’s economic growth is largely driven by the services sector. For example, in 2015-16, the services sector contributed around 66.1 per cent of the country’s gross value added growth. Continue reading Partnership is the Key to CEE-Indian Business

EU-CEE Is Still Growing at a Healthy Rate

Prague emerging europe

A host of flash estimate GDP data released by Eurostat and national statistics offices on August 16th showed that the economies of EU-CEE had another highly impressive quarter of growth in April-June. In seasonally-adjusted terms, growth strengthened in relation to Q1 from already elevated levels in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland and Bulgaria. In Romania and Slovakia momentum was unchanged relative to the previous three months, while in Lithuania and Hungary it slowed slightly. Data for the other EU-CEE economies—Slovenia, Estonia and Croatia—are not yet available. Continue reading EU-CEE Is Still Growing at a Healthy Rate

Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing


Azerbaijan is a small but energy-rich country in a strategically sensitive location. Its leaders have had many choices about pathways to the future and through consistent decisions over two decades, have created a repressive oligarchic regime that is ruled by one family. How did Azerbaijan, which started on the path to political pluralism in 1992, become a corrupt state that abuses human rights and the media? Continue reading Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing