Go East


Craig Turp

About Craig Turp

Craig Turp is the Editor-in-chief of Emerging Europe. A linguist by training he was previously the Editor-in-chief of Vilnius-based city guide publisher In Your Pocket. He lives in Bucharest, Romania.

Some people blame their parents for what they later become in life. I am certainly no different. Back in the early 1990s my father suggested that I should ‘Go east. That’s where the opportunities are.’ With those words in mind I enrolled at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies to study Romanian language and literature. More than two decades on things have not turned out too badly. Neither for me nor the region.

I’ll admit that I’ve been lucky. I’d not been out of university for ten minutes when a business-oriented newspaper in Bucharest offered me a job. From there I stumbled my way into travel writing, which paid the bills for the next two decades and took me all across what we now call Emerging Europe, from Belgrade to Baku, Tirana to Tbilisi.

And now, Editor-in-chief of Emerging Europe.

It’s a fabulous opportunity and one that I intend to make the most of. We are a young think tank, but we pack a wealth of experience and know-how that allows us to punch above our weight. We really do believe in what we preach: we want to help facilitate a better Emerging Europe, one in which societies are open to new business and to new ideas.

It’s perhaps fitting that Georgia should be the subject of our first major focus since I took the editorial reins from Andrew Wrobel (who has moved — in corporate parlance — ‘upstairs’ to become our Head of Editorial Strategy and Publishing), for back in 2009 I was invited to Tbilisi by the city council in order to write a report about the Georgian capital’s readiness for foreign visitors. I believe the final document ran to several pages, but it might just have been one sentence: ‘Tbilisi is not ready for foreign visitors.’ One memory sticks out more than any other: a tour of the city which had been organised for me involved being driven around in a large, black Mercedes with tinted windows. That was how the city appeared to think visitors wanted to see Tbilisi: from the back of a car.

What a difference a few years make. Back in Tbilisi in 2016 the city was, if not exactly unrecognisable, a far more welcoming place to be. An efficient airport, a wide range of accommodation options for all pockets, some fabulous cafes, bars and restaurants, a model tourist information centre on one of the main squares and everywhere signage in the Latin script (unheard of back in 2009, when unless you could decipher the Georgian alphabet you were unlikely to know where you were. Even Cyrillic signs were rare).

Tbilisi looks better than ever, and so does Georgia. Many others would appear to agree: almost 7 million tourists will visit this year. The country is ready for them, and then some. Georgia looks set for great things and tourism is one of its great success stories. Credit for that goes both to the state, which has done its bit making the country visa-free for visitors from so many countries, and to private enterprise, which has built the hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, bars, cafes, clubs and restaurants that make so many parts of the country, not just Tbilisi, so vibrant. I personally hope to make it back to Georgia soon: this time to Gudauri, where I am told the skiing is as amazing as the views, and the lift pass one of the cheapest in Europe, if not the world. See you there.

Personally, go east remains a mantra to live by. There are still so many opportunities in this part of the world that to number them is to count the stars in the sky. He wasn’t wrong about much my father, and he certainly wasn’t wrong about the potential of Emerging Europe.


Moldova Launches New e-Procurement System In Search For Positive Change

Photo team work process, holding contract hand, signs documents. Account managers young crew works with startup project.New idea presentation, analyze marketing reports.Blurred, film effect, horizontal.

Emerging Europe Looking Good in Best-Performing Cities Index

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

Czech Republic Raises Interest Rates

czech koruna

Estonia Leading CEE Country in WEF Competitiveness Index

pharmaceutical factory woman worker operating production line at pharmacy industry manufacture factory

Baltic States to Launch Combined Capital Market

capital markets

Young Georgians Make Their Mark at Emerging Europe-EBRD Event

maximilien lambertson at emergeing ebrd outlook on georgia

Košice Business Matchmaking Event Brings in Hungarians

kosice, slovakia

21st century Manufacturing Arrives at Great Stone

Great stone

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

Romanian Cabinet Reshuffled as New Splits Emerge in Ruling Party

BUCHAREST ROMANIA - MAY 25 2014: The Victoria Palace. Victoria Square.

Poland Stays Cool on Euro Adoption

Euro cash and Zloty on one photo.

Poland’s Flying Circus

airport poland

Hungary Seen as Riskiest Country in CEE


China and Central Europe: Don’t Believe the Hype


Bucharest’s Stock Exchange Reports Growth; Eyes Emerging Market Status

bucharest stock exchange

IMF: Institutions Key to Sustainable Growth


Polish Government in Climbdown on Social Contribution Hike

Visegrad Group Looks East

Fitch And the World Bank: Economic Growth To Remain Solid Within CEE In 2016

Poles Still Keen on German Jobs

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in Germany. The Brandenburg Gate is a triumphal arch a city gate in the center of Berlin. It is one of the most known sites in Berlin.

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey Launch New ‘Silk Rail’ Link

Poland Fails to Spend Billions of Euros in EU Funds

euro banknotes

Romania Cuts Income Tax, Introduces Solidarity Tax

CLUJ NAPOKA ROMANIA - OCT 2 2016: People on the central street of Cluj Napoka - the unofficial capital of Transylvania.

Investors Eye Opportunities in Emerging European Infrastructure


UK Economic Growth Slows as Brexit Uncertainty Bites

flags of UK and EU combined over icons of London - Brexit concept

Ukraine’s Q2 Growth Climbs

kyiv ukraine emerging europe

EU May Offer Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine Customs Union and Schengen Access


HSBC Reports CEE Growth Surge in Q3

romania national bank

PE and VC Investment In CEE Is At an Eight-Year High

venture capital

Industrial Production Prices in New Increase


Measure, Strengthen, and Grow

dacia brand

Putin Urges Belarus to End Oil Transit Through Lithuania

Athens Greece - May 27 2016: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers

Lithuanian Grocery Giant Maxima Set For Polish Expansion


Georgian PM Reshapes and Reshuffles Cabinet

Giorgi Kvirikashvili

Double Ratings Agency Boost for Bulgaria

Serbia Drafts New Competition Law

serbia belgrade flag

CEE Playing Catch Up on R&D Spending

science, r&d

Western Ukraine Could Be an Entry Point into the Country

Erste Group: Public Debt Falling Across CEE

erste group

Georgia Leads Emerging Europe in Ease of Doing Business Report

Emerging Europe Back on Track to Convergence


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

The Azerbaijani Laundromat: Why It Matters

azerbaijani money laundering

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

CEE Nation Brands Still Behind Western Counterparts

TALLINN ESTONIA- JUNE 17: View of the modern high rise buildings on border with an old part of the city on June 17 2012 in Tallinn Estonia

Assaults on the Judiciary: How CEE Governments Are Trying to Restrict Judicial Independence, and Why It’s Not Working… For Now

poland romania justice system

Baltics Seek Lockstep With High Tech States

Euro money: Macro view of euro coin and bill. Suitable for financial, monetary, euro or European Union concepts and ideas

Women, to Tractors!

Tug of war contest between boys and girls. Two groups of children of different sex pulling opposite ends of rope. Concept of gender equality among kids, team sports. Vector illustration for banner

Investment in Croatia’s Regions Key to Further Development

CAKOVEC, CROATIA - JULY 02: Parish Church of Saint Nicholas in Cakovec, Croatia, on July 02, 2016.

Belarus’ Economy Is Slowly Recovering From Past Declines

Slovenia Sets Green Vehicle Deadline of 2030


Czechs Hold Emerging Europe’s Most Powerful Passport

CEE: Innovate or Get Eaten


Mobilising Private Sector Investment in Belarus, Moldova & Ukraine


Skiing in Emerging Europe

gudauri ski georgia

Kaczyński Defends PiS Record

Estonia Leads Baltics in Cutting Sugar in Food and Drink

Serbia, Belarus and Ukraine Ranked Lowly by Wharton Business School

Kyiv Ukraine - April 172017: The postal square in Kiev on Podol the Dnipro river. view of the square from the river panorama

Growth Increase Offers Glimmer of Hope for Moldova


More EU Help for Belarus SMEs

GRODNO BELARUS - DECEMBER 13 2013: Seamstress in textile factory sewing with a industrial sewing machine .

Romania’s Budget Deficit ‘Should Start Alarm Bells Ringing’

BUCHAREST ROMANIA - June 29 2017: Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose during a swearing-in ceremony at Cotroceni palace in Bucharest capital of Romania June 29 2017.

Emerging Europe Key to China’s Belt & Road Plans

freight, ship, trade

Budget Chaos Hits Romanian Leu

Different Romanian Lei Banknotes on the table

Michael: The Last King of Romania

Still Potential for Growth in CEE as Economies Stabilise

Poland & Ukraine Should Join Outsourcing Forces


Polish Labour Market Deficits Are Impacting All

Construction site with crane and building. Construction site in western europe - in Poland.

Budapest’s Property Boom Goes Nationwide


Bulgaria’s Bitcoin Mystery

bitcoin bulgaria

Belarus Introduces New Business-Friendly Auditing Procedures

MINSK, BELARUS - AUGUST 15, 2016: Aerial view of the southwestern part of the Minsk with Palace of Sport and old and new other buildings. Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus.

Estonia Proposes Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for Robots

Robotic hand accessing on laptop the virtual world of information. Concept of artificial intelligence and replacement of humans by machines.

Does the Sceptre of Separatism Haunt Emerging Europe?

Szekely Land Flag

Albania’s Economy Booms Despite Political Infighting

Panorama view to the city Tirana Albania

High Real Estate Prices at Home Force Czech Investors Abroad

Construction of the Petrin lookout tower in Prague Czech Republic

Lviv Is the Pearl and the Soul of Ukraine

Latvian Deputy Prime Minister Highlights Riga’s Potential


Automotive and Transport Companies Dominate the CEE Region

Car bodies on the production line inside automobile factory

Nadiya Savchenko: I Dream of a Great Ukraine

Panorama of the top part of the Andrew's Descent from Castle Hill in springtime in Kiev Ukraine.

Warsaw Back on Top in Polish Banking

WARSAW, POLAND - MAY 07, 2016: Building Palace of Culture and Science among the modern buildings of the city

Mixed Results for Emerging Europe in Legatum Prosperity Index


Why Was Zapad-2017 So Important?

russian tank belarus zapad

Belarus Refinery Boss Upbeat Despite Challenges

oil refinery

Tech Giant Expands Romanian Operations

The Reality in Romania Exposes False Perceptions Of The Country

Lithuania Set to Streamline Competition Legislation

Industrial dock with cranes on the quay

GE Inaugurates Its New Bucharest Software Centre

Asian Outsource Developer Team Sitting At Desk Working Laptop Computer Mobile Application Software Real Office

Romanian Opposition Unites Against ‘Crime Syndicate’ Government

Albania’s Construction Sector Supports the Country’s Growth

SARANDA, ALBANIA - MAY 18: View of the city Saranda, most important tourist attraction of the Albanian Riviera on May 18, 2017 in Saranda, Albania.

EY: Belarus’ IT Scene Is Thriving

High tech park minsk

EU Membership and Transition into Market Economies Have Helped CEE Achieve Social Progress

Poland to Switch from Emerging to Developed Market by September 2018

warsaw stock exchange

Ukraine’s Economic Recovery: Good, But Slow

ukraine money

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

white house

Georgia’s Growth Continues

Batumi, Adjara, Georgia - May 27, 2016: Batumi, Adjara, Georgia. Gogebashvili Street Road And Marine Station Or Maritime Station Building Batumi On Background

CEE Boosted by Positive Tourism Trends Across the Region

cruise ship in Kotor Bay Montenegro. Aerial view panorama. Kotor bay Montenegro.

Romanian Car Maker Dacia Sees Sales Boom

Sables d Olonne France - May 07 2017 : Dacia Tour 2017 is a commercial operation organized by the car builder in order to present its cars throughout France - Close-up on cars

Polish Shoppers in Hunt for Eggs

eggs in rack

Lithuania Wants to Bring Home its Skilled Workers

VILNIUS - FEBRUARY 25: Many people choose books at the indoor book

Ex-Banker to Become Poland’s Next Prime Minister

Romanian Cyber Security Firm Valued at 600 million US dollars in Private Equity Swoop

cyber security

IMF Urges Croatia to Speed Up Reform


Czech Election Result Could Delay Euro Adoption Until 2025

czech banknotes nominal value two and five thousand crowns on white background. 300 000 Kc is approximately 12 450 US dollars (USD) or 11 100 Euro (EUR)

EBRD Transition Report Highlights Financial Sector Resilience


Non-Financial Reporting No Longer a Secondary Consideration in CEE

Hungary’s Solar Dreamer

hand sun and blue sky with copyspace showing freedom or solar power concept

Growing Rzeszów

Rynek Glowny in Rzeszow. Rzeszow Podkarpackie Poland.

Slovakia: Growth Continues But Problems Remain

More Brexit Fears As the UK Proves To Be A Needed Member

City of London view from Waterloo Bridge. This view includes: St. Paul`s Cathedral The Gherkin Tower 42 and Blackfriars Bridge.

‘Traditional Values’: A Potent Weapon Against LGBT Rights

gay rights putin

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

Continental Launch Largest Ever Lithuanian Greenfield Investment

kaunas lithuania

Meghri Becomes Armenia’s Third FEZ

armenia emerging europe

Air Passenger Volumes Reach Record High in the Baltics


A Risky Evaluation of Croatia’s Economy?

ZAGREB, CROATIA - JULY 17, 2017: Square Ban Josip Jelacic with tourists and trams on a summer day in Zagreb. City of Zagreb is the capital of Croatia.

Investigations Into the Corrupt Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Sectors

Ukrainian money hryvnia. The national currency. Corruption in Ukraine

CEE Emigrants Could Boost Their Countries’ Economies

Londoners walking through Millennium Bridge with St.Paul's Cathedral at the background after sunset - London, UK

Regional News Outlets: The Real Target of Poland’s New Media Law?

poland media

Toyota Announces 400 Million Zloty Polish Investment


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

Effective Policies Have Strengthened the Georgian Economy

TBILISI GEORGIA Jul. 18 2017: Bridge of Peace is a bow-shaped pedestrian bridge a steel and glass construction over the Kura River in downtown Tbilisi capital of Georgia

CEE Must Improve Infrastructure and Logistics

Aerial view of Gliwice Sosnica motorway junction. There are international traffic in four directions

One in Five Poles Unaware of Source of Funds for 500 Plus Programme

Romanian Economy Grows Fast in 2017

Brasov cityscape panoramic and aerial view over medieval architecture of Brasov town, in Transylvania Romania

Baltic Bank Merger May Tempt Polish Heavyweight

DNB Bank Vilnius

e-Estonia: Believe the Hype

Bulgaria: Real Estate’s New Frontier?

Chickens Blamed for Romanian Budget Deficit

Two white chickens or hens inside a chicken coop or hen house seen through chicken wire.

Kosovo: A Population of Talented Young Entrepreneurs Waits at Europe’s Door

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

Poland’s Business Constitution Must Be Finalised

Front of finance ministry in Warsaw Poland with a fountain framing the entrance. Could be used for images about Euro currency problems

Beyond Borders: Immigration Within the EU

refugees immigrants

Do Your Homework First and Starting Business in Poland is Easier

Škoda too Strong for VW Group

MLADA BOLESLAV CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 30: Skoda Octavia on conveyor line during Doors Open Day at Skoda Auto a.s. factory. Skoda auto celebrated 120 years since its founding on May 30 2015 in Mlada Boleslav.

Growth Continues for State-Owned Azerbaijan Airlines

Azerbaijan Baku - September 16 2015: View of the Heydar Aliyev International Airport sign in Baku Azerbaijan. The airport is the home of Azerbaijan Airlines the national flag carrier.

OECD: Tightening Labour Markets Sustain Growth in Emerging Europe

workers, employment

Romania Warned Again by European Council Over Budget Deficit

romania finance ministry

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Focussing on Stability and Business Climate

Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina - August 23 2015. View of Miljacka River in Sarajevo city

Slowly, Tech Brand Belarus Emerges

belarus tech

Estonia: Europe’s Little Technological Giant

NATO Opens New Moldova Office

NATO Moldova

Prospering Czechia Still Needs a Bigger Workforce

prague emerging europe

All for One, and One for All


The Polish Government’s Mid-Term Report: Must Do Better

Front of finance ministry in Warsaw Poland with a fountain framing the entrance. Could be used for images about Euro currency problems

CEE Tech Growth Continues: Poland and the Czech Republic Lead the Way


Latvia Urged Not to Increase Expenditure As Economy Grows

Riga, Latvia - August, 2010: Panorama view from Riga cathedral on old town of Riga, Latvia

Trans Adriatic Pipeline Will Fuel Albanian Growth

Xanthi. Greece - July 30 2017: aerial view of construction of gas pipeline Trans Adriatic Pipeline - TAP in north Greece. The pipeline starts from the Caspian sea and reaches the coast of southern Italy

Slovenia: Emerging Europe’s Hidden Giant

ljubljana slovenia

Despite Public Anxieties, Migration is Playing a Key Role in ECA Growth

Bratislava city aerial panoramic view. Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia.

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Boss Survives, For Now

Artem Sytnyk

World Bank: Western Balkans Need to Speed Up Growth For Faster Convergence

world bank

Sarajevo Stock Exchange Connected to SEE Link

sarajevo stock exchange

EU: Consumption Still Driving Growth

Lithuania Gives Innovation a StartUp

MILAN ITALY - MAY 2: People visit Lithuania pavilion at Expo universal exposition on the theme of food on MAY 2 2015 in Milan.

European Commission Withholds 600 Million Euros from Ukraine

kyiv, kiev, ukraine

Lviv Region in Double Logistics Boost

goods train logistics

Poland Is Set To Become a Large Economic Zone

Aerial view over the building materials processing factory. View from above.

Emerging Europe Makes Some Progress on Closing Gender Gap

world economic forum gender gap report

Global Players Dash for Tempting CEE

dollar pound euro coin on euro background.

Changes Are Making Ukrainian Banking More Aligned with International Standards

Hungary Today: Potential and Challenge

Chain bridge on Danube river in Budapest city. Hungary. Urban landscape panorama with old buildings and domes of opera

GSA Names Ukraine as UK’s Offshoring Destination of the Year

map of ukraine emerging europe

Wizz Air in Huge Polish & Ukrainian Expansion

wizz air a320

Retail Rents Rise Across Emerging Europe

Na Prikope Prague

Ukraine Is Offering Europe Unique Combat and Technological Experience

Kraków: Officially Emerging Europe’s Most Elegant City

Krakow. Image of Krakow Market square, Poland during sunrise.

The End of Poland’s Shale Gas Eldorado

Emerging Europe to Record Positive Growth Across the Board in 2018

coins growth

CEE Is Key to China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Shanghai skyline Panoramic view of shanghai skyline and huangpu river Shanghai China

Croatian Salaries Are Growing in Line With Other CEE Countries

Dubrovnik Croatia emerging europe

Doing Business Across Eurasia Could Be Easier

Eurasia emerging europe schneider group

Visegrád Divided


Macedonia — Stepping Out Of the Shadow Of the Balkans

Jadranka Joksimović: Serbia Takes Its Candidacy of the EU Seriously


Estcoin: Estonia’s Own Digital Currency?

1 euro coin money (EUR) currency of European Union Estonia over blue background

China Agrees to Build High-Tech Business Park in Serbia

BELGRADE SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 29 2016: View on the city center and the junction of Rivers Sava and Danube in Belgrade Serbia.

Montenegro Accelerates Legal Reform

montenegro law reform

IMF Wants Banking Sector Reform in Western Balkans

croatia national bank

EU Commissioner Launches Veiled Attack on Poland and Hungary

eu commission

Economic Confidence Rises Across Eurozone

Economy Minister: Internationalisation Is the Key To the Slovenian Economy

Ukraine to Make New Privatisation Push

Sunday Trading in Poland Under Renewed Threat

CEE Lags in Business Connectivity

ANIS romanian ICT

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

Ukraine’s Finance Ministry Wants Urgent Tax Reform

Albania’s Economy Not Benefiting From Largest Oil Reserves in Region

Ukraine to Restart Privatisation to Realise Profits

Pricatisation electricity ukraine

IMF Increases Growth Forecast With Emerging Europe Prominent

Dambovita river and center of Bucharest at sunset time Romania.

Lithuania Handed Top Marks for Business Services

Beautiful panorama of Vilnius Old Town taken from Gediminas hill; Lithuania

Euroscepticism in Serbia: An Image Problem?

Romanian Inflation Hits Four-Year High

supermarket, prices, inflation

Poland Set for New Expressways, But Problems on the Roads Remain

poland roads

Poland’s Q2 2017 Growth Is Stronger Than Expected

WARSAW, POLAND - MAY 07, 2016: Building Palace of Culture and Science among the modern buildings of the city

Outsourcing Sector Driving CEE Office & Graduate Demand

wroclaw office

ICT Growth Continues to Boost Bosnian Economy

ict, it

What Went Wrong in Ukraine – And When?

Bad Payers Still Causing Problems for Romanian Firms

Close up Romanian currency note, LEI or LEU, Romania

Is Prague the New Face of Overtourism?

prague tourists

Business Standards Are High in SEE But Vary Widely

Aerial view of The Cathedral of the Assumption in Varna

Warsaw Rising: The Polish Capital’s Skyline Gets Even Taller


Bulgaria and Romania Get EBRD SME Boost

Startup Diversity Teamwork Brainstorming Meeting Concept

Poland’s New PM Defends Attacks on Justice System

warsaw supreme court

Valga and Valka – Where Estonia and Latvia Work Together

Valga valka emerging europe

TV Still a Star for CME

Chinese Electric Car Maker Seeks Emerging Europe Base

zhi dou d2

Belarus Steps Up Liberalisation of Business


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

Digital Business Space Gives All Businesses an Office in Sarajevo

Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina - August 24 2015. View from Vraca Memorial Park with building of Avaz Twist Tower

After Economic Shocks Armenia Plans for Macroeconomic Stability

yerevan armenia minister of finance

Czech Land Prices Continue to Increase

farm land

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