Estonia’s investment promotion agency has once again set the standard for others in the emerging Europe region to follow, while the Czech capital Prague has been named the region’s most business-friendly city.
For the third year in a row, Estonia’s investment promotion agency has come out in top in Emerging Europe’s annual investment promotion survey.
As a part of its awards programme, Emerging Europe has since 2018 been researching how the region’s 23 national investment promotion agencies (IPAs) communicate their value proposition and how they use their digital channels to grab the attention of potential investors to the various business opportunities offered by key sectors.
Lithuania again took second place, with Czechia in third, climbing above Ukraine which drops to fourth. Latvia rounds out the top five.
“Estonia is well known across much of the world now for its digital expertise, expertise that the country has for several years been putting to good use to promote itself as an investment destination,” says Andrew Wrobel, founder and managing partner of Emerging Europe.
“The Estonian Investment Agency is innovative, creative, and hugely supportive of potential investors, and the fact that it has once again topped our survey suggests that it is not resting on its laurels. It continues to set high standards, aware that its national brand is increasingly powerful. While other countries are making excellent progress, which is good to see, they still have some catching up to do.”
Ukraine’s position in the ranking, although one place below its third place of 2021, is nevertheless remarkable given the Russian invasion of the country, and evidence, says Wrobel, that the country remains open for business.
“There are still investors looking at Ukraine, not least its IT sector which has shown remarkable resilience.”
Prague tops business-friendly city ranking
The Czech capital Prague meanwhile has been named as the most business-friendly city, topping this year’s Business-Friendly Perception Index having been chosen by a jury of more than 100 global FDI experts, site selection advisers and location analysts who were independently asked for their views on the 100 cities in emerging Europe with populations above 200,000 inhabitants, as well as the capitals of Montenegro (Podgorica) and Kosovo (Prishtina), where the population is below 200,000.
Last year’s winner Łódź slipped to second place, with Ljubljana retaining its third spot. Budapest and Warsaw complete the top five.
“Prague may at first glance be the obvious choice given its high quality of life and prime location in the very heart of Europe, but this is the first time the city has actually topped our ranking,” adds Wrobel.
“What’s interesting however is that in the individual categories there are a number of different cities that take top spot, which leads us to believe that there is in fact no one, perfect city in the emerging Europe region.”
Budapest has the region’s strongest brand, Belgrade the highest level of economic potential, Łódź the best business climate, and Kyiv the best pool of talent.
Cluj-Napoca leads in smart city development, Warsaw in infrastructure and connectivity, and Poznań offers the best local authority support.
“A good number of cities now have much to offer, and that’s great for both emerging Europe as a whole and for firms looking to relocate their operations in the region. They really are spoilt for choice,” adds Wrobel.
The Future of Emerging Europe Awards 2022 is the fifth edition of a programme which showcases the best of the emerging Europe region: individuals, public and private organisations as well as projects and initiatives.
The 2022 awards ceremony will take place in Brussels on June 23.
One winner of this year’s awards has already been named: Maia Sandu, president of Moldova who in March was named Emerging Europe’s Public Figure of the Year.
Full results of the investment promotion survey:
Validity of information
- (Tied) Czechia, Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine
Support and community building
- (Tied) Belarus, Lithuania
Online presence and ease of use
- (Tied) Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine
Innovativeness and creativity
- (Tied) Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine
Response to current developments
- (Tied) Croatia, Estonia, Moldova, Slovakia, Ukraine
Full results of the business-friendly perception index:
- (Tied) Bucharest, Tallinn
Pool of talent
Smart city development
Infrastructure and connectivity
Quality of life
Local authority support
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