Transport & logistics
As a growing consumer market bringing in an extra 94 million consumers to the EU market, the CEE region needs to develop as a key location for low cost manufacturing by upgrading its strategic distribution.
Prague and Bratislava are fast becoming key providers of transport and logistics, with the Czech Republic being strategically placed at a crossroads between Scandinavia and the Balkans, while Slovakia’s Bratislava Logistics Park will continue its expansion of warehouse space until 2015. Poland offers a warehouse market that is the fastest growing sector in its economy, as well as cargo rail links to the Far East. Logistics account for 10.6 per cent of Lithuania’s GDP, with access to the EU and CIS regions, as well as the Baltic from its Northern-most ice-free port on the Eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Meanwhile, Hungary is a natural distribution centre between CEE and SEE, as well as CIS, sitting at the centre of four trans-European corridors with one of the highest motorway densities in Europe.
Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia have access to the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, connecting the Black Sea and North-Western Europe, while Slovenia’s Kroper offers a multi purpose port with a significantly shorter route to Asia, with the added benefit of being in a specialised Economic Zone. Latvia has important trade links between Russia, central Asia and Europe via port, rail and road transport, the sector contributing more to the country’s GDP than the whole manufacturing industry, while Estonia’s transport and logistics sector netted €4.7 billion in 2011.