Sweden - Southeast Europe News Site

The Chamber of Commerce participated in conference on EU integration of Western Balkans Regional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, June 25, 2019 22:57:31

Göran Uvner, Roger Hellqvist and Avni Dervishi represented the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe yesterday at a debate in Stockholm on the EU-integration of the Western Balkans with several Foreign Ministers from the region. There was a clear impatience among the ministers with EUs handling and delay of the integration process in spite of, as they see it, that they have achieved most of the goals EU set up. The response from the Swedish foreign minister and other EU representatives was that, even if the Union sees the integration of this region as very important, it has right now other internal problems (ie Brexit etc) to deal with. They also don´t want to ”import conflicts” like for instance the one between Kosovo and Serbia, which has to be solved before full integration. One had a feeling that these ”excuses” were not very well received among the region´s representatives.

The Chamber of Commerce for Sweden – Southeast Europe offers a great opportunity for the countries in Western Balkans to building bonds between Sweden (read: EU) based on business relations. Companies in both the region and Sweden are welcome to contact the Chamber of Commerce for assistance with building contacts. Just write an email to info@sweden-southeasteurope.se or use this channel.
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Invitation - Building partnerships between Slovenia and SwedenSlovenia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, June 19, 2017 23:51:23

The Slovenian Embassy in Copenhagen is in cooperation with Business Sweden organizing an event "Building partnerships among Slovenia and Sweden in the area of e-health and e-government", which will take place on June 27, 2017 in the premises of Business Sweden in Stockholm.
Members of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe are welcome to attend the event 9.30 until 12.00 and afterwards for a light lunch with networking.. If interested please reply to Špela Vojčič at the Slovenian embassy via email spela.vojcic@gov.si.

The programme of the event:
10.00 -10.30 Opening & Welcoming remarks

- H.E. Mr. Karl Erjavec, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Slovenia
- Moderator: Ms. Lena Sellgren, Chief Economist, Business Sweden
and Business Sweden’s Chief Economist Lena Sellgren will place the developments in Slovenia and Sweden in a Global context.

10.30 – 12.30 ICT sector, E-Government and E-health

- Mr. Gorazd Mihelič, Director, SPIRIT Slovenia - Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology – Presentation of business and investment climate in Slovenia, opportunities to foster mutual cooperation and first hand experiences of Swedish companies in Slovenian market (15 min)

- Mr Niklas Lundin, Investment Advisor, Investment Area ICT & Tech, Business Sweden (15 min)

- Mr. Andrej Kotar, Presentation of Zitex, Association of Slovenian export-oriented ITC companies (15 min)

- Mr. Domen Božeglav, Minister's Office, Ministry of Public Administration-Presentation of Slovenia as Green Reference
Country in Digital Europe and project proposal 5G PPDR (15 min)

- The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) (name to be confirmed) (15 min)

- Mr Ulf Runebeck, Director Security and Defence, Business Sweden (15 min)

- Mr Hans Winberg, Acting CEO, Swecare Foundation (15 min)

12:30 Mingle with light lunch

Swedish telecom architect applies advanced math to network designIT/Telecom

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, March 29, 2017 18:59:42

Dimensioning a mobile network whilst avoiding some elements with too large a capacity and others becoming bottle necks is an almost impossible task. A Swedish company Netonomics is claiming that they can solve the problem with advanced mathematics. In this English transcript of an interview in the Swedish magazine "Elektroniktidningen" the CEO and founder André Grce explains how they do it. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hn6h9idzsmx5okl/AADsBSQm9qhKIgskC9Pd57uba?dl=0

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Mingling with old friendsBulgaria

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, March 27, 2017 09:27:30

Had a great meeting with the Swedish Bulgarian association in Stockholm last week. As always very warm atmosphere and nice to meet old friends from our times in Bulgaria. Göran Svensson, former Swedish Consul with more than 30 years experience from living and doing business in Bulgaria, gave an interesting update of the current situation in Bulgaria in general and regarding politics and business in particular.

Left to right in the picture: Roger Hellqvist, CEO Atolina AB, Göran Svensson, Chairman of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Sofia, Owe Wetterberg, Chairman of the Swedish – Bulgarian Association, Detelina Yankova, Swedish-Bulgarian Association, Sten Ask, Ambassador, with many years in Sofia, Göran Uvner, Uvner Business Consulting. Roger, Owe and Göran are also board members in the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe.
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Join Jovan on an odyssey through Balkan food cultureRegional info/economy

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Tue, December 06, 2016 13:47:32

Ćevapčići and ajvar are two examples of Balkan specialties that more or less have become part of the global cuisine, but the Balkans has so much more to offer.

In this book the food, culture and people of the Balkans are presented by an author who has both his heart and his roots in an exciting part of Europe. Jovan Radomir was born in the Balkans, grew up in the Swedish city of Katrineholm and spent his summer vacations in the countryside of his birthplace Srbac in former Yugoslavia.

In this book Jovan will teach you his secret family recipes for ajvar and stuffed peppers and show you classical recipes for grilled meat, pasteries, bread and top it all off with the fancy gourmet dinner that Jovan made for a gala banquet at the venerable Grand Hôtel in Stockholm.

You will also discover Belgrade, the beauty of the majestic river Danube, the long tradition of winemaking, the widespread Kafana culture, the mentality of the Balkan people – all the things that make the Balkans such an enticing mix of food, culture and people. Prijatno! Bon appétit!

Jovan Radomir is a Swedish TV personality working for SVT, the Swedish Broadcasting Company My Balkan Food & people is his first cookbook and a bestseller in Scandinavia. The book is also published in Swedish.
You will find more information about Jovan and his book and can order it here.

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We moved our news to twitterInformation from the Board

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, October 09, 2016 19:52:03

We have moved the daily news from and about Southeast Europe to twitter which we are updating frequently and this site will be closed within short. So if you are looking for the latest updates on what´s going on in our region, particularly in relation with Sweden, then you are very welcome to follow us on twitter. Just click here to come to our twitter account.

Towards zero delay in 5GIT/Telecom

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, March 01, 2016 18:34:11

5G was a hot topic at this year´s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The next generation of mobile systems is closer in time than many people may have thought and all the major vendors had something to show at the fair. However, to be able to run all the new applications everyone is talking about, in medicine, automation etc, the networks have to be optimized to a much higher degree than ever before. Latency is here a particularly important parameter.

Netonomics, one of the 300+ Swedish companies participating at the MWC in Barcelona, is working with exactly this in mind, which attracted several representatives from many operators to their stand. The Netonomics´ method of pooling radio access nodes into Base Band Hotels, and optimal placement of the BBH within each pool, provides maximum capacity with lowest possible latency. Radio performance is enhanced and transmission resilience secured by choosing the most efficient link for new CRAN nodes. All optimized for best resource utilization.

“Our method is build on several years of research and development of mathematical algorithms and a thorough experience from the telecom business. The method takes into account all relevant design criteria in a network to reach the lowest cost with maintained or improved resilience and latency”, says André Grce, CEO and founder of Netonomics. In the picture, shot at the Netonomics stand, Mr Grce (to the right), discusses their optimization model with the Swedish IT-minister, Mehmet Kaplan(center), who is following the 5G development carefully.

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Romanian companies show a competitive edge at Mobile World 2016 in BarcelonaRomania

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, February 29, 2016 10:39:25

Romania is one of the most interesting markets in Europe for technology investment and trade, as well as a recognized partner for some of the world’s most demanding customers in IT services outsourcing, business process outsourcing, call center support and product development.

Customer surveys show that costs and pricing only represent a fraction of the decision criteria for locating offshoring projects. Romania is not the lowest cost location for outsourcing, but when performance and engineering competences are added to the equation it is highly competitive.

Several Romanian IT companies participated in the Romanian pavillion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week and you find the list here with their respective area of business. As far as we know only one of the companies, M&M Medianet Com, have a representation in Sweden so there are plenty of opportunities for Swedish companies who want to find a Romanian IT partner.

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Swedish telecom architect helps operators substantially increase 4G/5G performanceEvents and Seminars

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, February 20, 2016 20:05:53

Swedish telecom architect Netonomics AB is introducing their advanced method of optimising 4G and 5G networks at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona. The method combines optimization of Cloud RAN pooling and new physical transmission links when connecting access nodes into Cloud RAN.

The Netonomics method of pooling radio access nodes into Base Band Hotels, and optimal placement of the BBH within each pool provides maximum capacity within latency limits. Radio performance is enhanced and transmission resilience secured by choosing the most efficient new link for new CRAN nodes. All optimized for best resource utilization.

“Our research based method takes all technical and practical design criteria into account to simultaneously reach the lowest possible cost. It makes a great financial difference for the operators”, says André Grce (pictured below), CEO and founder of Netonomics AB. “Our team of designers have a thorough background in network design as well as advanced mathematics, and our results have been verified by major telecom vendors”.

More information in Netonomics´ stand in the Swedish Pavillion, Hall 7, E41.

Website: www.netonomics.se

Clever Waste managementCroatia

Posted by BLED Konsult Wed, January 13, 2016 15:26:36

In Koprivnica in Croatia they have found way on how to connect ICT technology, solarenergy and wastemanagement in a bid to improve the waste management collection.

When you have a problem and not have been up to date with the new technology, it sometimes means that you can leapfrog many steps in the development. When SMS technology emerged in the late 1990:th it was the countries in the former eastern block with the Baltic States (Estonia mainly) but also other countries in Central Europe that developed new services. As the number of cars increased and parking problem became an issue, they developed SMS solutions to pay for the parking fees, instead of installing old technology parking machines where you could pay with creditcards (the new invention in Western Europe). I made my first SMS parking i Zagreb 2001, when I returned to Sweden 2008 i could not do it!

Here is maybe another way to leapfrog management of waste bins?

Please read more at https://www.total-croatia-news.com/news/2087-managing-waste-in-croatia-koprivnica-first-to-use-smart-compactors

Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs invites to Seminar on EU integration of W. BalkansEvents and Seminars

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, December 10, 2015 13:37:09

The conference will be dedicated to EU enlargement, the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU and regional cooperation. The purpose of the conference is to promote the significant role that enlargement, as one of the most successful EU policies, has played in bringing peace and reconciliation, and in promoting regional cooperation after the years of conflict in the Western Balkans. It is important for integration to happen sooner rather than later so that sustainable peace can be achieved and the challenges posed by open issues in the region can be overcome.

Two panels will assess the outcome of EU progress reports and subsequent reforms, as well as the prospects for faster EU integration from the perspective of the European Commission and Sweden. The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Margot Wallström, will participate in one of the panels.

The conference is being jointly organised by the Western Balkans, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the European Commission Representation in Sweden.
Date: December 18.
Time: 09.00 - 13.00
Venue: Europahuset, Regeringsgatan 65, 2nd floor, Stockholm

You will find the invitation here where you also can register your participation.

EU to open entrance talks with SerbiaSerbia

Posted by KR Hellqvist Consulting Sat, December 05, 2015 20:19:18


December 03, 2015 4:26 PM


The European Union said Thursday that it would open the first two so-called chapters of accession talks with Serbia this month, rewarding the country for a series of accords with its former Kosovo province despite their patchy implementation.

One chapter will focus on relations with Kosovo, which broke away during a war in 1999 and declared independence in 2008. Serbia does not recognize its former southern province as sovereign, but has struck a series of deals brokered by the EU to try to regulate relations between the two.

Analysts and Western diplomats say implementation of the agreements has been piecemeal at best on both sides, but the EU is keen to keep Serbia anchored in the process of Western integration to counter what diplomats say is growing Russian engagement in the Balkans.

"I am looking forward to the 14th [of December], when we can expect the chapters to be open for more detailed negotiations," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Belgrade.

Accession talks will begin with chapters 35 and 32, on Kosovo and financial controls.

"We will be coming to Brussels with big expectations and the firm belief that Serbia belongs to Europe," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said after meeting Mogherini.

Vucic was information minister at the tail end of late strongman Slobodan Milosevic's disastrous rule during the 1990s, when federal Yugoslavia collapsed in conflict and Serbia was bombed by NATO to halt its killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo during a counterinsurgency war.

Once a devoted ultranationalist, Vucic has rebranded himself as a pro-Western reformer, but critics and some Western diplomats remain worried about freedom of expression and the media in Serbia.

Serbia insists it will never recognize Kosovo, but it is likely to come under pressure to do more to settle relations the nearer it gets to EU membership, a process that will take years.

The EU itself remains divided on Kosovo sovereignty, recognized by 23 of the bloc's 28 members.

EBRD and Tirana Municipality to cooperate in infrastructure projectsAlbania

Posted by Martin Ancons Sat, December 05, 2015 10:13:15

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will provide funding and support for Tirana Municipality for the improvement of infrastructure and the sustainable development of the city.

The new collaboration was announced on Thursday by the Tirana Municipality press office after the representatives of the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding, respectively by the Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj and by the First Vice President of the EBRD, Phil Bennett, in Tirana capital.

According to the signed MoU, the EBRD will support the Municipality of Tirana in compiling projects, in the aspect of institutional development, and will offer assistance in the implementation of projects and procurement. The two institutions have also agreed to cooperate in the field of urban transport and road infrastructure.

After signing the MoU, the Mayor of Tirana stressed that such agreement is very important for Tirana city and that the implementation of sustainable and eco-friendly projects will support the establishment of a sustainable environment which will boost the economic development of the city and will improve the living standards for its citizens. In turn, the First Vice President of the EBRD Phil Bennett declared that a sustainable infrastructure is one of the main conditions for the development of a friendly urban climate and the EBRD will assist in the establishment of such infrastructure in Tirana city.

Since the beginning of the EBRD activity in Albania, the bank has invested about $ 1 billion in more than 70 different projects, mostly in the economy field.

New Bankruptcy Law Takes Effect in CroatiaCroatia

Posted by Martin Ancons Fri, November 27, 2015 09:45:27

Under a new law, designed to streamline procedures, all companies whose assets have been frozen for more than 120 days will now be declared bankrupt.

Sven Milekic


Orsat Miljenic. | Photo by Flickr

Croatia's new law on bankruptcy came into force on Tuesday, sending 19,646 companies with 10,139 employees into bankruptcy.

The new law proscribes that all companies that have their assets blocked for over 120 days will automatically be pushed into declaring bankruptcy.

These 19,646 companies owe around 2.5 billion euro while 15,001 of the companies, which have no employees, owe 1.9 billion euro to various borrowers.

Croatia's financial agency, FINA, will initiate the bankruptcy procedure within eight days after a company's assets are blocked for more than 120 days. A pre-bankruptcy procedure will be initiated before the courts after assets are blocked for 90 days.

One novelty of the law is that companies that do not pay workers’ wages for 90 days also risk undergoing pre-bankruptcy procedure. The state will also have to pay up to three minimum wages to workers not paid by their employers.

The law also brings in the possibility of pre-bankruptcy procedure being initiated by the borrower in order to evade bankruptcy. Additionally, the law will proscribe the implementation of a bankruptcy plan, which will enable the company to continue working during the bankruptcy procedure.

FINA will first push into bankruptcy companies that have been blocked for over 1,000 days and which have no employees.

Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic on Monday said that Croatia ranks very low when it comes to the efficiency of its bankruptcy procedures.

“Of the 28 members of the EU, Croatia is on 24th place in terms of the duration of bankruptcy proceedings and even lower in collection [of lenders' claims],” Miljenic said.

According to him, the previous bankruptcy procedure was an overcomplex process during which up to 70 per cent of companies’ assets were spent on the costs of the procedure itself.

“It is pointless, as that way everyone loses - workers, creditors and company, because some [companies] that might be able to continue to work, cannot do so,” he added.

He noted that workers have a right to report their companies after one salary is not paid. Miljenic said the overall purpose of the law is to secure the bankruptcy procedure and remove companies that generate major insolvency from the market

CNN rates Moldova as one of the top wine producers in the worldMoldova

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Wed, November 18, 2015 09:16:08

"Everyone knows the world's classic wine regions: Tuscany, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rioja, Napa Valley", writes the American news agency CNN in their web site and continue: "But not all the world's best wine regions have yet been discovered.In fact, some of the finest wine is being made in places you might never even have heard of."
One of the great wine producers on CNN´s list is Moldova. Here´s what the American the wine tasters write about "the most vineyard-dense country in the world":

Though winemaking in Moldova dates back more than 5,000 years, Moldovan wine -- and Moldova in general -- has flown almost completely under the radar.

Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, the tiny country's wines are a delight, from indigenous whites like rara neagra and plavai to its crisp, fruity sauvignon blancs and chardonnays.

You'll even find excellent reds in mild, dry southern Moldova: robust, earthy saperavis, as well as elegant cabernets, gamays and pinot noir.

Interestingly, almost a quarter of all Moldovans are winemakers -- it's the most vineyard-dense country in the world.

The country is also home to the world's largest wine cellar, Milestii Mici, which has more than two million bottles.

Visit: Cricova winery produces velvety, medium-bodied Orasul Subteran Rara Neagra, made exclusively with indigenous Moldovan grapes.

Click here for the complete CNN list of great not so well known wine producers.

Listen to the music from the sea.Croatia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, November 16, 2015 08:56:25

Carved into the steps are narrow channels that connect to 35 organ pipes, each tuned to different meticulously arranged musical chords.

As the waves lap against the steps, they push air through the pipes and out whistle-holes in the surface above, making a harmonious and completely random musical arrangement.

But you don't see what's happening below the surface. You close your eyes and all you hear is a song like you've never heard before, one completely unique to the movement of the sea at that exact moment.

Take a listen: Here's what it sounded like at one particular moment, on one particular day. On any other day, it might sound completely different.
And this is the place where you can experience it yourself.

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Macedonia's tourist potentialMacedonia

Posted by KR Hellqvist Consulting Sun, November 15, 2015 19:52:06

Macedonia’s foreign tourist arrivals rise 23% y/y in September

November 12, 2015, 4:28pm GMT

The number of foreign tourists visiting Macedonia increased 22.9% y/y to 60,461 in September, accelerating from a 20.8% y/y growth in August, data from the statistics office showed. Most tourists came from Turkey (11,660), the Netherlands (6,096), Serbia (4,744), and Poland (2,957).

The number of foreign tourist overnights grew 24.3% y/y to 131,864 in September, and stays of domestic tourists increased 3.8% y/y to 52,398. The total number of overnights thus rose 17.7% y/y to 184,262.

In January-September, the total number of tourists climbed 11.2% y/y to 672,286, and their overnight stays went up 9.1% y/y to 2.08mn. The number of foreign tourists rose 15.4% y/y to 396,371, and their overnights grew 13.4% y/y to 860,057.

Source: Bne Intellinews

Three potential buyers bid for Bulgaria´s VivacomBulgaria

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, November 15, 2015 13:51:51

Three potential buyers have placed binding bids for Bulgaria’s Vivacom by Thursday’s deadline as reported by the Sofia news agency novinite.com.
One of the candidates is Greece’s Olympia group backed by U.S.-based hedge fund firm Third Point. Olympia is controlled by Panos Germanos, the company's founder and main shareholder. Third Point LLC is an investment adviser based in New York and founded by Daniel Loeb, who serves as its CEO.

The second offer was submitted by Marc Schneider, co-founder of European cable group UPC, financially backed by U.S.-based private equity fund CVC.

The third candidate is Bulgarian-born and UK-based entrepreneur Spas Roussev. His offer is expected to be financially backed by VTB Capital, the investment-banking arm of Russia's second-largest bank VTB.

VTB Capital is currently a security agent for a EUR 150 M bridge loan to Luxembourg-based InterV Investment, the indirect holding company of the largest telecommunications company by revenue in Bulgaria. The funding was secured via a Luxembourg share pledge over 100% of the shares in Vivacom owned by InterV Investment.

An auction will be held in London next Thursday for 100% of the shares of InterV Investment, which defaulted on loan repayment at the the maturity of the financing in May 2015.
Read more in novinite.com.

Congratulations Bulgaria: You are the offshoring destination of the year 2015Bulgaria

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Wed, October 21, 2015 10:15:52

Bulgaria is the winner in 2015 European Outsourcing Association Awards (EOAA) in „Offshoring Destination of the Year“category. This was announced during an official EOA Awards ceremony on October 8, 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Plamen Tsekov, a board member of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association (BOA) and CEO of “ScaleFocus”, had the honor to receive the award. Bulgaria won in competition with another two shortlisted countries Latvia and South Africa. “This is a great recognition for Bulgaria, which will encourage the development of IT and outsourcing industry, and will especially raise the image and the visibility of Bulgarian companies on the international arena,” said Plamen Tsekov.
“The award is recognition for the outsourcing industry development in Bulgaria and that our country is a world class business destination. This is an award for the Bulgarian State and recognition of the human capital and good business practices in the country, of the stability and development prospects of the Bulgarian business sector,” said Stefan Bumov, chairman of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association (BOA). Read more here.
The Chamber of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe joins in on the congratulations.
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Did you know there is a Business forum on Linkedin for people who do business between Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe? Apply for your free membership here.

The Chamber of Commerce chooses bne IntelliNews for business intelligence Regional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, June 30, 2015 10:39:51

One of the main services of the Chamber of Commerce is to provide its members with fast and updated news of what´s happening in Southeast Europe in general and particularly such information that is important for companies and organisations with business relations between Sweden and the SEE region.

Over the years we have used several news channels for these purposes, ie google, local media, global news agencies and others, some free and some coming at a price. After careful evaluation of the services available, we have come to the conclusion that the service best meeting our needs at a competitive price is the one that bne IntelliNews is providing.

bne IntelliNews publishes actionable emerging markets business intelligence and economic analysis for companies and investors based on a network of over 60 analysts and journalists who are experts on the regions they cover, including Central, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, plus Russia and the CIS, in addition to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

bne IntelliNews publishes:

bne — the only English language publication covering more than 30 countries of CEE/CIS, focusing on business, economics, finance and politics with monthly magazine bne, weekly digital newspaper and daily news website www.bne.eu, which includes news and analysis on Southeast Europe.

IntelliNews — premium service aimed at professional investors, publishing daily emails carrying news, commentary and analysis on business, finance and economics covering CEE/CIS/MEA and South Asia on intellinews.com. Includes timely updates and in-depth coverage of all Southeast European countries.

QuERI — trade, production and market demand time-series database covering over 400 commodities and products in over 70 countries and regions at www.queridata.com. Includes data on all Southeast European countries.

Emerging Markets Direct — industry reports and analyses published annually/semi-annually on over 90 topical emerging market industry segments on store.emergingmarketsdirect.com. Includes reports from all Southeast European countries.

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Planning to start a business in the Balkans? Look here what advantages Albania offersAlbania

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, June 28, 2015 21:00:49

It´s not as complicated as some people might think to start a company in the Balkans. Take Albania for example. Registration doesn´t take many days and it requires not much capital either.

You can read more about what is required to start a new business in Albania and at the same time get useful advice in the new report “Doing Business 2015” produced by the World bank. Download it here.

At the same time you can download information directly from the government of Albania outlining all the potential and support the country can offer an entrepreneur or investor. Download that report here.
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Sweden signing deal with Romania on welfare supportRomania

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, June 06, 2015 09:30:41

Sweden and Romania will sign a new agreement on welfare support from Sweden to Romania, to help the struggling country solve some of its most pressing social issues, including providing aid for Roma beggars on home turf. The Swedish support will mainly focusing on the education of Roma children, women's rights and welfare services.

The deal follows a surge in begging in Sweden, with a study in April suggesting that around 4,000 vulnerable EU migrants – many from Romania – are now living in the Nordic nation.

Most of the beggars are members of the Roma community – one of the EU's largest minority groups. Many live in tents or caravans and make a living by asking Swedes for money outside shops and underground stations. Read more here.

Team Sweden ska samordna det svenska exportstödetRegional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, May 20, 2015 20:13:45

Svenska företag som vill ut på export ­uppfattar ­dagens stöd som en djungel av myndigheter, bolag och verk. Däför lanseras Team Sweden – ett paraply för Sveriges alla myndigheter, verk och bolag som i dag arbetar med exportfrämjande insatser för svenska företag. Syftet med Team Sweden är att göra det enkelt och tydligt för företag som vill ut på exportmarknaden. Läs mer om Sveriges nya satsning på exportföretagen här.

Romania to see among highest growth in emerging Europe, says EBRDRomania

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, May 19, 2015 08:29:28

Romania will register this year one of the highest economic growth in emerging Europe – 3 percent – and 3.2 percent in 2016, amid stronger economic environment in the Eurozone, according to the latest Regional Economic Prospects report released Thursday by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
EBRD also shows in its latest Regional Economic Prospects report that Romania’s economy grew by 2.8 per cent in 2014, on the back of strong private consumption, boosted by a rise in minimum wage in mid-2014, while contribution of net exports remained low and investments subdued. Read more here.

A Regional SEE IT Conference to be held in Sarajevo 21-22 MayEvents and Seminars

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, May 11, 2015 10:17:35

The USAID Partnership for Innovation from BiH, together with the USAID REG project and the GIZ Open Regional Fund project for supporting regional IT, are organizing an SEE IT conference in Sarajevo, on 21st and 22nd of May.

SEE IT (South-East European Information Technology) conference will gather ICT clusters / associations, both mature and young ICT firms, and companies from other industry sectors that use ICT technologies in their business.

The main goal of the conference is to create an effective environment for two days where companies can interact and trade freely and legally, with representatives from SEE and EU targeting markets for mutual benefit. ICT companies from SEE are successfully implementing joint projects with companies (of all sizes) abroad, as subcontractors for product development or as implementers of software products. The goal of this conference is to broaden cooperation among participating business entities.

The conference will gather participants from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey.

The Draft Agenda to this free event, as well as other relevant information, is available on www.seeit.ba. For more opportunities for B2B meetings, please register at http://seeitcon.talkb2b.net/

The next big outsourcing hub: A tiny country where IT is top priorityMoldova

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sat, May 02, 2015 16:00:36

A child of two worlds, caught between East and West and just outside European Union's border, the Republic of Moldova is building up its IT and telecoms sector at warp speed, managing to attract large companies thanks to its proximity to Western Europe and costs that are cheaper than Romania or Bulgaria.

Tax exemptions and low salaries - ranging from $350 per month for a junior developer to $1,000 for an experienced one - have lured businesses to Moldova. Outsourcing companies such as Endava and Pentalog are planning to hire hundreds of IT professionals in Moldova in the near future, knowing that the country's culture is compatible with both the Western world and the Russian-speaking region.

This article by ZDnet gives you more insights about the opportunities for Swedish and Scandinavian IT companies in Moldova - one of the few countries in Europe to have a Ministry of Technology,

Don´t miss our Daily Magazines from Southeast Europe Regional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, May 02, 2015 09:10:18

Did you know that the Chamber of Commerce publishes four Daily Newspapers? Every morning you´ll find new issues with the latest and hottest news in areas like politics, business, sports, leisure and many others.
Here are the daily magazines, just click on the name of the paper you want to read.

Serbia Daily
Macedonia Daily
Moldova Daily
Southeast Europe Daily

And subscription is free of course.

Swedish event: Doing Business in the Western BalkansEvents and Seminars

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Thu, April 30, 2015 12:26:00

The event “Doing Business in the Western Balkans: Investments, Suppliers & Trade” will present suppliers’ database and outsourcing opportunities in manufacturing and ICT industry in Republic of Serbia, Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. If you are a machinery or equipment manufacturer or supplier, or involved within ICT technologies, this is a seminar you don’t want to miss. The event is created to provide attendees with a full understanding of the Western Balkan supplier’s network and outsourcing potentials.

Throughout the event, there will be formal presentations from governmental representatives and case studies from the Swedish companies that already have established successful business in the Western Balkans. Panel discussion embracing country representatives, will offer participants learning opportunity through the engaging and interactive session.

The event is jointly organized by the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Embassy of Republic of Macedonia, Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, Chamber of Commerce of East Sweden, and Serbian Swedish Business Council, in collaboration with Mjärdevi Science Park.

The event, which is free of charge, will take place at Mjärdevi Science Park, Teknikringen 10, 583 30 Linköping May 22 and start at 09.00. More information and how to register here.

Serbia and Sweden sign agreement on development cooperationSerbia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Thu, April 30, 2015 11:41:09

Serbia's Minister without portfolio in charge of European integration Jadranka Joksimovic and Swedish Ambassador to Belgrade Christer Asp on 23 April signed the Agreement between Serbia and Sweden on development cooperation for the 2014-2020 period.

After the signing of this document in the Serbian government, Joksimovic explained that over the next five years, Sweden will allocate €12 million annually for development programmes and projects relating to democracy, human rights and the improvement of the environment in Serbia. Serbia's European path aims to improve the lives of citizens, she repeated, and pointed out that Sweden is a true example of the rule of law and respect for all human rights and minority rights.

Sweden is also one of the largest bilateral donors to Serbia, which is why our country should continue to have Sweden as a role model for reforms, Joksimovic underlined.
According to her, since 2000 Sweden has given grants to Serbia in a total amount of €210 million.

Asp explained that the agreement signed aims to identify priority areas in which Swedish development assistance will be implemented, noting that it is very important for the Swedish government as it confirms the excellent cooperation between the two countries to date.

The agreement also validates Sweden’s commitment to helping Serbia develop and become a better place for its citizens, he said and added that the projects that will be implemented will facilitate Serbia’s entry into the EU.
We will walk by your side until the day Serbia becomes a full EU member, Asp stated reports the Government. (Balkan.com)

TetraPak opens new warehouse in SerbiaSerbia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Fri, April 10, 2015 11:21:09

Swedish packaging giant Tetra Pak opened on Tuesday a new warehouse for finished products in the Serbian town of Gornji Milanovac according to news in b92.net. It is part of the company's investment totaling EUR 11.9 million over the past two years. The new warehouse, covering an area of 4,000 square meters, is planned to employ 38 people.
The investment in Gornji Milanovac reflects Tetra Pak's global production strategy for a more efficient use of the network of 40 factories around the world.

This is very important for Tetra Pak facilities in Europe and Central Asia, the company's largest business cluster, said Charles Heaulme, vice president of the division, at the opening ceremony. With a total of 277 clients and 91 percent of production intended for export, the factory in Gornji Milanovac is one of the most successful ones in the company's network, he noted. Today, this is our most efficient production facility in Europe and Central Asia, said Heaulme.

Telenor bank has already 50.000 mobile bank accounts in SerbiaSerbia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Fri, April 10, 2015 08:55:00

Telenor bank opened 50.0000th current account since in September they started operating at the market of Serbia which ranked it among the fast growing mobile online banks in the CEE region according to news in Ekapija daily news.
In the first six months, the bank succeeded in forming solid base for further development of mobile banking thanks to synergies of telecommunications and financial services with an average monthly rate of the opened current accounts of 53%, Telenor bank announced.
- We are focused on financial services which are used simply and transfer of traditional banking to innovative customer-oriented mobile solutions - Executive Manager and the president of the Executive Bard at Telenor bank - Martin Navratil.
In Telenor bank, all citizens of Serbia can open multi-currency current account with contact-free debit , Mastercard card, to change money at favorable exchange rates, send funds abroad and do other kinds of payments. Read more in Telenor´s website here.

Nytt ljus över AlbanienAlbania

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, March 29, 2015 17:28:30

Hur kan det ha tagit över tjugo år för ett land som rymmer så mycket sevärt att ­synas på den internationella turistkartan? DN ställer sig frågan efter en resa utmed vackra havskuster, höga berg och till historiska platser.
Läs mer i söndagens resereportage i Dagens Nyheter här.
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Find Fundings for the Real Economy in BucharestEvents and Seminars

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Wed, March 25, 2015 18:16:40

bne IntelliNews, the supplier of quality business information to the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden - Southeast Europe and other organizations operating in the emerging markets of Europe, recommends attending the event Emerging Funding for the Real Economy, April 2, 2015, at the Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest.

The conference aims to bring together the stakeholders of the real economy’s medium and long term financing value chain, giving everybody a platform and a chance to speak out (concerns, debates, plans, regulations, case studies, to dos etc.).

The event partners are CMS Cameron McKenna, Pedersen & Partners, Erste Asset Management, UniCredit Tiriac Bank, Enterprise Investors, London Stock Exchange Group and ELITE.

Main topics include macroeconomic trends, local and regional views; viable alternative solutions for the real economy funding; hot topics for Private Equity for the local market; banking instruments and capital markets; covered bonds etc.

For more information about the event, the detailed agenda and the registration rates visit the event website here. the event website here.

Seminarium om investeringar och aktuella affärsmöjligheter i CentraleuropaEvents and Seminars

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, March 22, 2015 16:06:14

Mot bakgrund av de stora EU-finansierade upphandlingarna de kommande åren anordnar Regeringskansliet, Utrikesdepartementet och Business Sweden gemensamt två halvdagsseminarier i Stockholm den 13 april, på eftermiddagen och Göteborg, den 14 april, på förmiddagen. Under seminarierna kommer en kvalificerad genomgång ges av marknadsutvecklingen i Centraleuropa (Polen, Slovakien, Rumänien, Tjeckien, Ungern, Slovenien, Kroatien). Program och ytterligare information kan inhämtas här.

Group of EU investors takes control over Bulgaria´s VivacomBulgaria

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Fri, March 20, 2015 13:03:56

LIC33, a group of companies gathering European Union investors specialized in emerging markets and distressed situations, takes over a majority stake in Vivacom and other leading companies in Bulgaria.
VIVACOM (Виваком) is the brand name of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company EAD (BTC), the largest telecommunications company in Bulgaria and a former state-owned monopoly.
The former owner has irrevocably sold the assets against a commitment from the investor to refinance all debts due to the various banks vested in the situation. The initial estimation of the consolidated debts to be refinanced is EUR 900mln.
The recent transaction is waiting for regulatory approvals and the new investors have already started the refinancing efforts along with the re-structuring efforts -with a view to stabilize the situation.
The former owner did not keep any interest in the assets LIC33 acquired.
Vivacom is the largest telecom operator in Bulgaria and posted EBITDA of EUR 175 mill in the year of 2013.
A press conference will take place at the Hilton in Sofia Tuesday 24th March 2015. More in the LIC33 pressrelease here.

Sweden´s Tele2 makes huge investment to cover Croatia with 3G Croatia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Fri, March 20, 2015 11:36:57

Tele2 of Sweden has announced large investments into its Croatian mobile network. The investments are focused on making 3G available on all sites across the network, as well as adding additional sites to improve the population coverage.
The network upgrade will be done in partnership with Huawei (hey, where is Ericsson?) and the selected Single-RAN Wireless network solution is flexible and future-proof. It enables upgrades of capacity and speeds as well as the possibility of future extension into 4G.
Niklas Sonkin, EVP Central Europe and Eurasia at Tele2 AB, comments: “In December, Tele2 Croatia secured an additional 15 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band. The announced investment into new 3G technology comes as a natural next step and will bring our customers substantial improvements in terms of coverage and network quality. This at a time when the smartphone penetration and data usage in Croatia is set to grow significantly.” REad more here.

Maybe time for "Frank" to brush up his Croatian now. Hope he manages that better than his Swedish:)

Did you know there is a Business forum on Linkedin for people who do business between Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe? Apply for your free membership here.

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Get your franchising organized in CroatiaCroatia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Wed, March 04, 2015 20:59:35

The Croatian Chamber of Economy – County Chamber Rijeka is organizing, for the first time, an international fair of franchising, financial and consulting services – FEC (Franchising Exhibition Croatia).This two days Fair will provide the entrepreneurs with an opportunity to receive a complete package of services, advice and information required to start a business and to meet the owners, managers and consultants from various sectors. All those considering buying or selling a franchise or planning to invest in a proven business model, as well as all those considering entering into business ventures, are invited to participate in FEC 2015.

FEC will be held on 29-30 May 2015, in the Congress Hall of Hotel Royal in Opatija. The entry is free for visitors. More information about registration and programme can be found in this website.

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Upplev det senaste av textil och mode från Sydosteuropa – i BoråsEvents and Seminars

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, March 02, 2015 16:11:36

Kom till Marketplace Borås och se det nya modet och textilierna från länderna i Sydosteuropa. Bulgarien, Serbien, Makedonien och Turkiet har alla lång tradition av att tillverka textilier av högsta kvalitet och mode. Företagen där erbjuder dessutom snabba leveranser, låga initialorder och attraktiva priser.

Regionen är full av unga kreativa designers med sinne för det senaste modet. Du möter några av de allra bästa i Västerås tillsammans med modeexperter och representanter från företag och ambassader redo att hjälpa dig och ditt företag att välja rätt produkter för dina kunder i Sverige.

Se hela programmet här - Anmäl dig till eventet här.

Plats: Marketplace Borås Arena, Textile Fashion Center, Skaraborgsvägen 3A, Borås
Tid: Kl 13.00 – 17.00 tisdag den 10 mars.
Deltagandet är helt kostnadsfritt. Lätt förtäring kommer att erbjudas.
Mycket välkomna!

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Not just a pretty place....Montenegro

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sat, February 28, 2015 12:16:52

...This country is good for your business too. Montenegro is ranked number 36th in World Bank’s Doing Business report, higher than the Slovak Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and even the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

While the recent European Economic Forecast of Winter 2015 talks of an average growth of 0.8 per cent in the Eurozone and 1.3 per cent across the European Union in 2014, the Montenegrin economy will grow by 2 per cent. Read more in this article by Velimir, Mijušković,, President of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro and Vice President of the Forum Ionian Adriatic Chamber of Commerce, published in Emerging-Europe.com.

Blog imageDid you know there is a Business forum on Linkedin for people who do business between Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe? Apply for your free membership here.

Albania launches tender for 2500-2690 MHz spectrumAlbania

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Fri, February 27, 2015 14:14:29

The Albanian Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP) has launched a tender process for the 2500-2690 MHz frequency bands.
The bidding deadline is April 9 and the tender documents can be downloaded here.

Did you know there is a Business forum on Linkedin for people who do business between Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe? Apply for your free membership here.

Russia and USA are battling in Serbia. Over TelekomSerbia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Thu, February 26, 2015 16:51:17

Russian and US interests might clash in the pending privatisation of Telekom Srbija as bidders from both countries are expected to step forward for the auction later this year, daily Blic reported on February 25, quoting unnamed sources. "Blic" continues by saying that one of the biggest Russian companies wants to buy Serbian Telekom. This decision is not just economical, but also strategical.
On the other hand, Americans will not be standing on the side. They are already preparing counter-offer as an answer to Russian attempt of taking over the largest telecommunications company in Serbia.
"Blic" didn't find out which Russian company sent an offer for "Telekom", but there are several names. First of all is of course, "Gazprom telecom", which tried in 2012. to enter this region through Slovenia. There is also Miloš Fridman, one of the wealthiest Russians in the world, and his partner Mehmet Karamehmet. They are the owners of "Alfa" and "System holding", companies with the majority in Russian telecommunications company - MTS.
Russians think that buying "Telekom" is the best way for them to form a good strategic position in Serbia and western Balkans. Moscow is affraid that Serbia is turning towards the West. Meeting between Aleksandar Vučić and Joe Biden was understood as a sign of "USA taking over Serbia". That's why "Russia today" openly criticized Prime Minister Vučić for almost two days, especially his statement in which he said that "Serbia considers alternative ways for gas supplying".
John Kerry, United States Secretary of State, said that "Serbia is on line of fire between Russia and the USA".

Did you know there is a Business forum on Linkedin for people who do business between Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe? Apply for your free membership here.

Sweden will back visa liberalisation for KosovoKosovo

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, February 25, 2015 13:13:34

Sweden is committed to supporting the process of Kosovo’s integration into the European Union, the President of the Assembly of Sweden, Urban Ahlin said at a meeting with Kosovan President Atifete Jahjaga, according to bne Intellinews who quotes a statement on the Kosovan presidential website.
However, the recent revelations about illegal migration of Kosovans to the EU has “hampered the process”, Ahlin added.
Around 100,000 Kosovans are estimated to have left for the EU within the last six months. Hungary, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Belgium all reported a sharp increase in Kosovo nationals seeking asylum in December 2014 and January 2015.

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SEE: Economic Recovery in Some, but Not All Countries, Says World BankRegional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, February 17, 2015 20:12:57

Devastating flooding in some countries brought the economy of South East Europe (SEE6[1]) to a standstill in 2014, with growth of only 0.2 percent, according to the World Bank’s latest South East Europe Regular Economic Report (SEE RER) launched recently.

According to the report, in 2015, the SEE6 region is expected to recover modestly, with aggregate growth projected to average 1.3 percent.

Growth is likely to be held back in 2015 by a weak recovery in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The rest of the region is expected to grow by over 3 percent in 2015, with economic growth reaching 3.8 percent in FYR Macedonia.

Growth prospects are dependent on external factors, including a sustained recovery of external demand, especially in Europe, and stabilization of international energy prices at around current levels.

Economic activity in SEE6 is dampened by weak domestic demand as consumer and business confidence remain weak over lingering political uncertainty, chronically high unemployment, and banking systems saddled with high nonperforming loans. Therefore, the report emphasizes that economic growth in the near- and the medium-term in SEE6 can be supported through sound and well-prioritized economic policies.
Read more in the new World Bank report here.

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[1] SEE6 are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), Montenegro, and Serbia.

PM Vucic in Stockholm: "Serbia is definitely going with the European Union!"Serbia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, February 16, 2015 11:10:47

If you didn´t know it you wouldn´t guess that this was the Serbian prime minister. Here was a fairly young guy, speaking with a low voice (almost difficult to hear sometimes in the crowded conference in the new Waterfront building in Stockholm city) giving a bit of a timid if not shy impression.

That was in the beginning.
There soon came points in Mr Vucic´ speech when his voice was raised and his eyes looked sharp towards the audience. For example when answering a question how Serbia, an old friend of Russia, were going to do the balancing act in the relations between Russia and the EU. ”It´s not a question about balance”, Mr Vucic said sharply. ”Serbia is on it´s way towards Europe and I have told Mr Putin this face to face, but also that I do hope that we can still keep our friendly relation with his country”. Let´s hope Mr Vucic´ ambitions can help mediate in the tense relations between the EU and Russia.
There were other occasions in the prime minister´s speech when his voice sharpened and he looked straight into the Serbian TV camera following him on the trip. At one such occasion he said: ”Our people often ask me when we will get it better. And my simple answer to that is: When you work harder. I have said it many times and I am not afraid to say it again in front of our cameras here”, he said, looking into the camera, obviously now addressing his own people.

PM Vucic: "I told my people that you have to work harder to get it better".Blog image

After Mr Vucic it was the Finance Minister, Mr Dusan Vujovic´ turn to speak about the economic situation in Serbia. Mr Vujovic, a former Director of the World Bank for many years, was asked a year ago by the prime minister to come back to his native country and assume the position as the finance minister. This obviously came as somewhat of a surprise to Mr Vujovic, who nevertheless accepted the job. In his former position at the World Bank, Mr Vujovic had been helping many countries to get the economy straight. “But it is another thing to operate on your own family”, as he called his task to get his own country´s economy back on track. It looks though, as he is on good way to do just that, as several key numbers are looking brighter already, for example the fiscal deficit which has improved considerably during recent months.

Finance minister Vujovic: Operating on his "own family".Blog image

The third speaker from Belgrade was Mr Marko Cadez, President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who talked about his “Business friendly Serbia”. As most other countries in the region the Serbian government is presenting all advantages and benefits they can to charm foreign companies to invest in their country and many have certainly done so already, HM being the most recent and IKEA on its way. And more may soon join them as there were several representatives from other Swedish companies in the audience.
Mr Cadez´ presentation can be downloaded here, we leave to our readers to judge the figures for themselves and compare with what other countries in the region have to offer. Such information can usually be found in the government´s websites.

Eying up the figures: Marko Cadez, the President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.Blog image

Photos by Göran Uvner ©

Did you know there is a Business forum on Linkedin for people who do business between Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe? Apply for your free membership here.

Swedish Trust Fund to grant €9.5mn to Bosnia’s Federation for water supply projectBosnia and Herzegovina

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, February 08, 2015 10:39:52

Bosnia’s Federation government said it has agreed to accept a SEK90mn (€9.5mn) grant from the Swedish Trust Fund under an agreement signed between Bosnia and the European Investment Bank. The money will be used for water supply and sewerage projects in several municipalities.

In 2011, the Swedish Trust Fund provided to the Federation another grant, worth some €3mn, under agreement between Bosnia and the World Bank. The purpose of the grant was to fund a project for building a waste water treatment facility in Mostar. (bne Intellinews Feb 4)

Serbia grateful to Sweden for continuous supportSerbia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Wed, February 04, 2015 13:01:10

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic last Monday met in Stockholm with Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Lofven.
Vucic told reporters after the meeting and a luncheon that he hopes that Serbia will be able to implement all reforms and that once it obtains the arrangement with the IMF and the package of economic measures it will manage to attract more foreign investments.
The Prime Minister thanked the government of the Kingdom of Sweden for the aid provided to Serbia after the floods, as well as for the continued support regarding the European integration of Serbia.
Lofven pointed out that Sweden supports the enlargement of the EU because it brings stability and prosperity throughout Europe, and expressed the hope that Serbia should become part of the European family as soon as possible.
Vucic invited the Swedish Prime Minister to visit Serbia, which is Lofven accepted and promised that the visit will follow soon.
Read more and watch a video from the press conference in Stockholm on the Serbian Government website here.
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Croatian Ambassador says they have a lot to learn from Swedish elderly careCroatia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, February 02, 2015 21:33:02

Last week, Croatia´s newly appointed ambassador to Sweden, H.E. Ms Anica Djamic, visited homes for the elderly in the Swedish municipality of Enköping some 80 km NW of Stockholm. The purpose of this visit was to gain inspiration and take back to Croatia some ideas about how the Swedes care for their elderly citizens.

The visit was arranged by the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe together with the municipality of Enköping, which is a frontrunner in the field of elderly care.

Ms Djamic visited several homes and facilities for the elderly in Enköping and was truly impressed to see the high standard of the Swedish care system. ”In Croatia you are not free to choose your care when you get old”, Ms Djamic said. ”However, we should not copy everything here, but develop our own system based on ideas from the Swedish system. Money is not the only aspect, it is just as important to learn how the system can be improved.”
(This is a brief translation of an article in the local newspaper Enköpings Posten)

Shown from left to right in the picture below:
Martin Ancons, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce who initiated the visit, Ms Zonica Kovacec, volunteer, Ms Marie Palmgren, head of Healthcare in Enköping municipality, and the Ambassador, Ms Djamic (photo by Linda Lundberg, Enköpings Posten).

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Q&A about Hungarian politicsHungary

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, February 01, 2015 13:02:13

After four years of frenzied law making, Orban – or his right-hand men – immediately continued with controversial and confrontational policies, for example alleging that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) critical of the government were agents of foreign powers, making warm approaches to Russia and the east while denigrating the “failing” West, and embroiling Hungary in a diplomatic row with the US. Most infamously, in July Orban publicly enthused on the effectiveness of “illiberal” democracies, citing Russia, China, Turkey and Singapore as examples for Hungary to follow.

How and why has Orban done all this? Where does it leave Hungary, politically, socially and economically? And what of the country's future? Gabor Gyori as author, and Andras Biro-Nagy as editor attempt to answer such questions in "Hungarian Politics in 2014" – an 80-page booklet just published on January 23 with the assistance of Friedrich Erbert Stiftung.

The above is an extract of a review by Business New Europe saying that "it offers a grand critique of – and insight into – Fidesz's most controversial policies since elected in 2010".
The book can be downloaded by our members here.

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Montenegro telecom companies will expand services and networks 2015Montenegro

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, January 29, 2015 13:19:02

Telecommunications companies operating in Montenegro have announced plans to invest in new services and further expansion of internet networks, according to a newsflash in bne IntelliNews, quoting the head of directorate for electronic communications at the information society ministry Ratka Strugar. Strugar did not elaborate but suggested that a fourth company might enter the market this year.

According to the latest available data, the mobile phone penetration in Montenegro fell to 168.6% at end-November from 176.4% a month earlier. The total number of subscribers edged up 0.18% y/y to 1.045mn. Norway's Telenor, Montenegro's leading operator, had a market share of 38.08% at the end of November 2014, followed by T-Mobile (part of Crnogorski Telekom), with a market share of 33.56% and m:tel with a 28.36% share.

Albania launches tender for 4G frequenciesAlbania

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Tue, January 27, 2015 14:34:22

Albania's telecommunications regulator (AKEP) has issued a tender to award licences for the use of frequencies in the 1800MHz spectrum band, the Independent Balkan News Agency reported. Two mobile service providers active in Albania, Vodafone and Eagel Mobile have already expressed a commitment to launch 4G services.

Albania currently has four mobile phone companies, the former state owned company AMC, founded in 1996, privatized by COSMOTE in 2000 and then part of Deutsche Telecom. The second mobile company in the country is Vodafone, which started to operate in 2001. Several years later, once landline company Albtelecom, which held the license for mobile operator Eagle, was sold to a Turkish company, in order to start the third mobile phone service. The fourth mobile phone operator was Plus. The main shareholder of this company was Vala from Kosovo and several Albanian businessmen. The first three companies use 3G technology, while although Plus obtained the license last year, it could not keep it, because according to AKEP, it didn’t make the payment and the license was revoked.

Albania is one of the last countries in the region which has not yet introduced 4G technology, although year after year there have been declarations for its launch. Even smaller neighboring countries such as Kosovo, Montenegro, FYROM, have implemented the 4G system for a while.

In Albania, there are currently around 6 million mobile phone numbers. It’s believed that at least half of them are still in use. Companies do not publish public data for the number of users and other figures. Due to preferential charges within the same operator, many Albanians hold two or more mobile phones in order to have a low cost of Communication.

Wizz Air to introduce Malmö-Nis flights from June 25Serbia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, January 26, 2015 16:20:39

Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air plans to launch flights between Sweden's Malmö and the third largest city in Serbia, Nis, as of June 25, news service bne IntelliNews reported on January 26.

The route to and from Malmö will be operated three days a week - Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays - the airliner's executive vice president John Stephenson told a news conference in Nis, southern Serbia.

Stephenson said the company has been present in Serbia for four years now, transporting 1.6 million passengers. He added that the Nis-Malmö route was picked after a detailed market analysis.

Nis mayor Zoran Perisic told the same news conference that some 320,000 Serbs live in Sweden, many of them in the Malmö region.

Swede appointed new Head of EU Delegation and Special Representative to Bosnia HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, January 24, 2015 21:13:01

The EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1 March 2015 will be Swedish Lars-Gunnar Wigemark according to information from the European Council. Wigemark will also take over the role of the Head of the European Union's Delegation in Sarajevo. He succeeds the danish Peter S›rensen, who had been in the position from 1 September 2011.

"European Union is committed to supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina on its European path. Mr Wigemark's expertise will be an important asset for our engagement in BiH as well as for the EU's external action" Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said after the appointment by the Council. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark is currently serving as the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan and has 30 years of experience in the Swedish and European diplomatic services. He has held a number of foreign postings, including Moscow and Washington DC, and has worked on a wide range of issues hereunder heading the Unit for Security Policy in the Commission and in development cooperation and management.

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Welcome to a Serbian-Swedish Business Event in StockholmSerbia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, January 17, 2015 16:00:02

The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia to Sweden and the Serbian Swedish Business Council are inviting the members of the Chamber of Commerce to a Serbian Swedish Business Event to be held in Stockholm on 2 February, 2015 at 9:30 on the occasion of the visit by H.E. Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister of Serbia.
The event presents an opportunity for the Prime Minister of Serbia to illustrate his approach to economic reforms in the Serbian market, as well as for Swedish business representatives to learn about and explore different investment and trade opportunities in Serbia.
Register your interest in participating in the forum by sending an e-mail to serbiaemb.economic@telia.com referring to "member in the Chamber of Commerce Sweden-Southeast Europe". The venue will be announced soon.

Scandinavian Designers Discover Bosnian Handicraft in Stockholm 2-6 FebruaryBosnia and Herzegovina

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Tue, January 13, 2015 13:03:50

Stockholms Auktionsverk, the world’s oldest auction house (established 1674) has generously dedicated its entire magnificent building at the heart of Stockholm to Monica Förster and Zanat for its inaugural exhibition: “Sarajevo Sessions: Scandinavian Designers Discover Bosnian Handicraft.” The exhibition will coincide with the Stockholm Furniture Fair and will be featured in 550 m2 of gallery space.

In addition to Zanat’s new award winning Bosca furniture line--designed by some of the leading names in Scandinavian design and architecture: Monica Förster, Harri Koskinen, Gert Wingårdh & Sara Helder—and heirloom furniture pieces produced between the two World Wars by the Niksic family (owners of Zanat), the exhibition will feature the artistic photography of acclaimed Bosnian photographer Almin Zrno, exploring Bosnia’s breathtaking architectural, natural, and historic landmarks.

A gala cocktail reception will inaugurate the exhibition on February 3rd, with hundreds of invited guests around the world. For more information about the exhibition, the inaugural cocktail reception, or organized press events, please contact Trendgruppen PR at: info@trendgruppen.se or Zanat at: press@zanat.org

Let´s introduce ourselvesInformation from the Board

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, January 11, 2015 13:41:35

If you ever wondered who the guys are running this Chamber of Commerce - well here we are. Some of us have been involved in the organisation for quite some time. Others are fairly new to it and bring in new and fresh ideas. And the newest one in the board is Lars Jakobsson, who you can see in the picture in a previous post here.
But none of us is new to working with and in Southeast Europe. Together we have something like 200 years of experience of export and import between Sweden and Southeast Europe, setting up and running companies, creating partnerships as well as outsourcing, financing and finding the right people for such activities.
Just so you know, in case you need help with anything.smiley
Any question or comment? Send it to either anyone of us individually (you find our email addresses here) or to our common email address info@sweden-southeasteurope.se

And welcome to join our Business Forum. You´ll find about 250 colleagues there from Sweden as well as the countries in Southeast Europe. All with a mutual interest of doing business between our two regions. Just click here.
Very welcome!

What lies ahead for our region this year?Regional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, January 02, 2015 10:02:27

Probably this question is more difficult to answer than for a long time. But Business New Europe is giving it a try in their outlook for Southeast Europe, titled Political uncertainty rises in Southeast Europe. They continue:
"Forecasts for 2015 GDP growth vary widely across the region. Serbia, hit by flooding in May and now embarking on an austerity programme, expects zero or negative growth in 2015. Croatia, in its first return to positive growth after years of recession, is expected to grow by just 0.2%, according to the European Commission’s 2014 Autumn Forecast. At the other end of the scale, some of Southeast Europe’s smaller economies have the best prospects for 2015, with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro all expected to expand by at least 3%." See their full report here.
Whatever lies before us, we hope for the best and wish all our members a happy and prosperous 2015.

Sofia Metro goes underground in StockholmBulgaria

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Fri, December 26, 2014 21:23:31

One of the few cities in Southeast Europe with an underground transport system is Sofia in Bulgaria. Since a few years the implementation of a large-scale Extension Project has started with help of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF) of the European Union with local co-financing.

In the beginning of December, the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe arranged a study visit for a team from Sofia Metro to MTR Stockholm, since 2009 operator of the Stockholm metro transport system.

The team from the Sofia Metro was led by the Director General, prof Dr Stoyan Bratoev. During the visit Dr Bratoev and his team were visiting one of the traffic control centers in Stockholm and given presentations by directors at MTR. One point of interest was a visit to a station in the northwestern suburbs where MTR is testing out different types of automatic platform screen doors, which can substantially reduce the risk for accidents.

The Stockholm metro transport system is the 6th largest in Europe, with a track length of 108 km. MTR Stockholm is a subsidiary of MTR Europe in London, part of the Hongkong based MTR Corp. MTR Stockholm was awarded the Swedish Quality Award 2014 for outstanding quality performance. The award will be presented to MTR by HM the King of Sweden in February 2015.

Pictures below:
1. Dr Bratoev (left) in one of the Stockholm metro traffic control centers at Gullmarsplan station.
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2. Dr Bratoev discussing platform screen doors with MTR area director Dag Lokrantz-Berentz at Åkeshov metro station.
Blog imagePhotos by Göran Uvner

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a prosperous new yearInformation from the Board

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, December 24, 2014 11:08:41

First of all we would like to thank all our members and friends for the past year and particularly those of you who duly paid the membership fee, which has meant that our Chamber of Commerce has had the possibility to contribute with aid to the victims of the terrible floods in the Balkans last spring.

During the annual meeting we recently were having at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) for the previous year 2013, the chairman presented an impressing list of activities that the Chamber of Commerce has performed during that year. The next annual meeting is planned to take place early 2015, reporting for the year 2014.

During the annual meeting, a new board member was elected, Lars Jakobsson (see photo). Lars has a substantial financial background on his CV and, among other positions, has held the one as CFO at Ericsson Nikola Tesla in Zagreb for many years.

Within short, those of you who are paying members in the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe will find more info in our website, ie MoM, activity report, member list etc. Until then, once again we wish you a relaxing holiday and a fruitful 2015.
From the Directors of the Board
The Chamber of Commerce
Sweden - Southeast Europe

Welcome to the Board: Lars Jakobsson (pictured below)
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Is the Balkans next target for Mr Putin?Regional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, December 07, 2014 15:28:34

The Ukraine crisis is stoking fears in western capitals that Moscow is now seeking to impose its will in other countries in eastern Europe, including the Balkans, wrote Financial Times in an article recently and continues to say that this is particularly clear about Serbia.
Read the full FT article here.

100 kr i rabatt på årets outsourcing event till Handelskammarens medlemmarOutsourcing

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sat, November 22, 2014 22:23:54

Dagen för årets stora händelse inom IT/Media Outsourcing är snart här – närmare bestämt på fredag den 28 november och platsen är det anrika Kungl Myntkabinettet. Det är då svenska företag har ett unikt tillfälle att möta kollegor och expertis från länderna i Sydosteuropa och få hjälp med programutveckling och IT-projekt. Och det till helt andra kostnader än vad vi är vana vid på våra breddgrader.

Årets Outsource event är det andra arrangerat av SEEBA (South Eastern European Business Agency). Förra året i Kista Science City samlades ett stort antal deltagare från såväl Sverige som Sydosteuropa och många nya spännande kontakter knöts. Förutom representanter från ett flertal IT-företag från Sydosteuropa får deltagarna på Myntkabinettet dessutom träffa 2013 års Företagare i Sverige Hamdija Jusufagic, CEO för System Verification AB, Sveriges ledande företag inom kvalitetssäkring av IT-system. Hamdija har nyligen startat ett dotterbolag till System Verification i Sarajevo och har mängder med erfarenheter att dela med sig av till oss andra på seminariet. Hela seminarieprogrammet ser du här.

SEEBA har vänligen lovat Handelskammarens medlemmar 100 kr rabatt (nära 30 %) på biljetterna den här veckan. Så vänta inte på att det blir fullbokat utan gå in och registrera dig på outsource2.eu. Ange rabattkod ”Special”

Du kan se ett kort videoreportage från förra årets seminarium här. Väl mött på årets Outsourcing event Outsource2EU 2014 på fredag.
Bilden: Invigningstalaren på Outsource eventet, Hamdija Jusufagic, CEO för System Verification AB och utnämnd till Årets Företagare i Sverige 2013.
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Telekom Srbija to be partially or fully privatised following new IMF dealSerbia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, November 09, 2014 13:18:09

Serbia's potential new arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to set out plans for 12 key state-owned companies, finance minister Dusan Vujovic told TV broadcaster RTS. The new programme will define the steps the 12 companies shall undertake, including reducing wages - the first time that such conditions have been included in an agreement between Serbia and the IMF.
The 12 firms include Telekom Srbija, railways operator Zeleznice Srbije, power grid operator EMS, power producer EPS, postal operator Posta Srbije, state roads operator Putevi Srbije and water resources management firm Srbijavode.
Some, probably including Telekom Srbija, will be fully or partially privatised. Some just need restructuring to become more effective, while others may be offered to investors under concession agreements.
Telekom Srbija needs a strategic partner as the company is struggling to compete with rival operators without external financing, Vujovic said. The government also hopes to raise substantial revenues for the sale of the telecoms operator.
Read more in the Balkan.com news.

Bulgaria is now the most preferred outsourcing destination in EuropeBulgaria

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Thu, October 02, 2014 21:05:44

Bulgaria has become among the most preferred outsourcing destinations in the world and the only European country in the top 10 list of most attractive countries for such activities, done by the analysis company A.T. Kearney, as reported by novinite.com. Bulgaria is at the ninth position among 51 countries in the world and climbs up eight positions in the list since 2011, when the previous survey was done.

According to Stefan Bumov, chairperson of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, quoted by Mediapool.bg, this was an important recognition of the efforts of Bulgaria's outsourcing industry and its contribution to the economy. In Bumov's words, in 2013 the turnover of Bulgaria's outsourcing sector was BGN 1 B and has increased by 60% in the past four years. The sector hires 20 000 people and in the next few years their number is expected to increase four times.

The index takes into account 39 criteria in three categories – financial attractiveness, business environment and human resources. The chart below shows the first 20 countries in the A.T. Kearney report.
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Telenor takes Mobile Banking to Serbia - Opens Telenor BankaSerbia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, September 14, 2014 11:45:35

Telenor last week announced the opening of its first wholly-owned financial institution, Telenor Banka in Serbia, providing customers with mobile and online banking services. The digitization of cash payments and the convenience of online and mobile banking are expected to stimulate financial and economic growth in Serbia, where some 80 percent of transactions are currently performed in cash.

Via an agreement with MasterCard, consumers in Serbia will be able to access the bank's own and other ATMs for money withdrawals and deposits. Telenor Banka customers will be able to open their account at Telenor service shops across Serbia and all transactions can be handled via an app on mobile phone, tablet or PC. According to Kjell-Morten Johnsen, EVP and Head of Region Europe, the group is evaluating the establishment of financial services in other Telenor markets in Europe. Read more in Telenor´s own pressrelease here.

More good news from BulgariaBulgaria

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, September 10, 2014 17:01:51

From Bulgaria we have just received some interesting and encouraging news which we would like to share with our members. Read all about it in this newsletter from the Bulgarian Investment Agency.

A few stories in the newsletter
· Bulgaria’s GDP growing
· Bulgaria ranks fourth place in the world in low taxes for foreigners
· IT outsourcing boom boosts Bulgaria
· Bulgaria ranks first in the production of copper and gold in Europe
· Bulgaria to pour BGN 1 billion in R&D in 2015
· Foreign direct investments in the non- financial sector in Bulgaria increased by 4.5 % in 2013 compared to 2012
· European Commission adopted ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Bulgaria on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020

Furthermore you will find information about several investment projects and also a feature story about the textile industry in Bulgaria.
Download the newsletter here.

Swedish AQ Plastronic expanding in BulgariaBulgaria

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, September 09, 2014 20:45:24

Bulgarian plastic parts manufacturer AQ Plastronic (part of the Swedish AQ Group) has unveiled plans to invest BGN 8m (€4.1m) in expanding its product range. The firm is also aiming to create about 30 new jobs at its production facility in Veliko Tarnovo, in Bulgaria’s northern part, Bulgarian agency Invest Bulgaria said in a statement.

With the planned investment, the manufacturer will install new machines at the factory. Under the plan, AQ Plastronic will expand its product range by launching production of new plastic components intended for Swedish automotive manufacturers Volvo and Scania and electronics producer Ericsson, according to Emil Nikolov, the firm’s executive director.

The company recently changed its name to AQ Plastronic, previously operating under the brand of Carat Electronics. The move is related to the recent take over of the Bulgarian firm by the Swedish AQ Group, which acquired a majority stake in Carat Electronics AD in June 2014.
"The acquisition was made to increase our production capacity and further to gain competence in design and production in Bulgaria of injection molding as well as PCB assemblies. We have expanded successfully in the country since 1996 and this is our next step in investments there. After the acquisition AQ will have close to 1000 employees in Bulgaria." says Claes Mellgren, CEO of AQ Group, in a statement.

Sweden´s Civil Rights Defenders searching for a new Programme Officer for MoldovaMoldova

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, August 30, 2014 11:01:52

Civil Rights Defenders is an international human rights organisation with headquarters in Sweden, defending people’s civil and political rights and empower human rights defenders at risk. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia they closely co-operate with a number of human rights organisations, advocating for improvements in the realm of human rights and empowering human rights defenders at risk. Civil Rights Defenders are now looking to recruit a competent and proactive Programme Officer for Moldova.

The Programme Officer is responsible for carrying out and follow up on the human rights support programme and long term partnerships with human rights organisations in Moldova, including Transnistria. All details can be found on this website.

Changes in the Romanian embassy in Stockholm - We wish Bogdan Badescu lots of success as he moves onRomania

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, August 25, 2014 17:39:33

The Economic Counsellor during several years in Romania´s Stockholm Embassy, Bogdan Bădescu, is about to leave his post for new challenges as Economic Counsellor at the Romanian General Consulate in Barcelona.

At a reception in the Romanian embassy, our member Inger Björklind Bengtsson, on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, presented Bogdan with a dedicated copy of her recently published book, ”From Rune Stones to Radio Waves – How a Viking Village became Sweden´s Silicon Valley” (see picture). The book describes how Kista - a suburb just north of Stockholm - over the centuries developed from a large Viking settlement into the birthplace of modern telecommunication. Maybe the book can be an inspiration to Bogdan as he now proceeds to conquer a new market, although on a friendlier note than our Nordic ancestors did.
(However, Spain might not be a very good example of the Vikings´ success, as they never got a real foothold there and were rather early thrown out of the Iberian peninsula. Hope you will be more successful in the region Bogdan :-)

Sad to see Bogdan go, all of us in the Chamber of Commerce would like to express our warmest gratitude to Bogdan for the close cooperation and all the support he and the embassy always have shown our organisation. We wish you lots of success on your new post!
We will return later with a presentation of Bogdan Bădescu´s successor.
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Welcome to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in CroatiaEvents and Seminars

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sat, July 26, 2014 12:31:45

We would like to inform You about the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, which will be held in Croatia in Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split from September 22 – 26, 2014.

Over the past six years, the Global Entrepreneurial Congress (GEC) has evolved into a premier annual gathering of startup champions from 153 nations dedicated to building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems that fuel advances in innovation and economic growth. During the GEC, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, thought leaders and policymakers work together to help new firms start and scale. It is the part of global campaign GEW, www.gew.co

The goal of GEC2 is to provide a framework for thinking and acting. GEC2 has emerged to fill a need for more in-depth collaboration. It is the first in a series of deep-dives into specific topics, ‘The Entrepreneurial Mindset’. The main goals of this event is:

- Examine the best in terms of formal curriculum as well as more popular experiential education programs for startups with focus on critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Recognize best examples of startup programs around the globe
- Promote global sharing of innovative practices in empowering more citizens to start thinking like entrepreneurs
- Provide Global-wide networking opportunities for participants

The 2014 GEC2 is a joint effort by the GEW - an initiative of the Kauffman Foundation, GEW Host Croatia, the Split City Government, Dubrovnik – Neretva County, University MINERVA and the Croatia Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts. Please visit the Congress website www.gec2.co. A preliminary programme can be downloaded here.
Blog imageAre you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our web forum here.

Follow our news on TwitterInformation from the Board

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, July 03, 2014 20:54:57

During the summer we make a break here on our news site. However, you can still get the latest news and information about what is going on in Southeast Europe by following our Twitter channel here.

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Sweden to give 400 M EUR in aid to help Western Balkans meet EU entry rulesRegional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, June 05, 2014 11:42:32

Sweden will give four Western Balkan countries 400 million euros in aid to carry out reforms needed to qualify to join the European Union, the Swedish ambassador in Bosnia said on Monday. EU entry requirements and membership rules are meant to ensure new entrants have strengthened their economies and institutions enough to thrive within the trading union.

Ambassador Fredrik Schiller said the funds will help Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia to overhaul public administration and the judiciary and to protect human rights. Read more in the Reuters news here.

Help the victims of the floodings in the Balkans and we give you a free membership in the Chamber of CommerceRegional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, June 03, 2014 18:14:04

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We are all devastated by the disaster that the floodings have caused in a large part of the Balkans. For us not living in the area it is hard to comprehence the suffering people have to go through, not only these days but for a long time to come. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development estimates the damage caused by the floods in Serbia at up to 2 billion euros, or 7 percent of national output. In Bosnia, the bank estimated the damage at 1.3 billion euros or 10 percent of output.

It took some time before Sweden and other countries reacted and started to send aid and money, as there was an obvious focus on another catastrophy more east of Balkan. But now the aid has become organized, funds have been raised and organizations like the Red Cross have open accounts aimed particularly towards helping the flooded parts of the Balkans. And of course we in the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden and Southeast Europe are giving our contributions as well. Last week the Board of Directors decided to begin our support by sending SEK 5000 to the Red Cross fund for the victims of the floodings and we also took the following decision for the continuation of our support:

All membership fees paid during June and July this year will be forwarded directly and in total to the Red Cross, earmarked for the Balkans.

So please do not wait. Pay your membership now and make a contribution to the victims of the flooding at the same time.

And of course all of you who already paid your annual fee are also most welcome to make a contribution of any kind. All contributors will be listed in our website during the autumn.

Here is what you need to know to pay the membership fee and to make the contributions:

Company membership fee: 900 SEK or 105 EUR
Personal membership fee: 300 SEK or 35 EUR

Swedish companies or individuals pay to Bankgiro number 884-4599

Non Swedish companies or individuals pay to
IBAN Nr: SE 27 6000 0000 0006 6719 8938.
Beneficiary:The Chambers of Commerce for Sweden - Southeast Europe
Note ”Balkan aid” on the payment and also send an email with your membership details to info@sweden-southeasteurope.se

Welcome as a member who cares!
The Board of Directors
Chamber of Commerce
Sweden – Southeast Europe

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Dubrovnik´s Chamber of Commerce seeks cooperation with Swedish companiesCroatia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, May 20, 2014 13:57:04

May 7th the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden – Southeast Europe, Mr Martin Ancons, visited the Dubrovnik Chamber of Commerce to discuss cooperation and opportunities for future business relations between companies in the Dubrovnik area and Sweden. The president of the Dubrovnik Chamber of Commerce, Ms Terezina Orlic, expressed particular interest in contacts with Swedish seafood importers.
The Dubrovnik Chamber of Commerce is the oldest Chamber of Commerce in Croatia, established more than 200 years ago. For a presentation click here.
Read more in The Dubrovnik Times.

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Upptäck Moldavien – i StockholmMoldova

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, May 08, 2014 16:25:23

Moldavien är ett av Europas minst kända och besökta länder. Här får du chansen att bekanta dig lite mer med landet när en av Moldaviens mest berömda musikgrupper, Stefanet Brothers’ Orchestra framträder på Musikaliska med solisten Geta Burlacu.

Under kvällen ges möjlighet att prova moldaviska viner. Många bedömare anser att Moldavien inom kort kommer att bli ett land att räkna med vad gäller vinturism.

The following in English:
Moldovan musical tradition draws heavily on Romanian and Ukrainian folk themes, complex melodies accompanied by up-tempo rhythms to produce fast paced, foot tapping, folk tunes with more than a little Jazz in their musical DNA.

Moldovaholiday are delighted to present for one night only, in Stockholm, Berlin and London, some of Moldova’s best known and most admired musicians who will showcase their exceptional talent and share the joy of Moldovan traditional music.

No journey to Moldova would be complete without an opportunity to sample their distinctive, high quality wine. Moldova is widely predicted to be ‘the next big thing’ in wine tourism and we would like to show you why. Moldovan wines will be available to enjoy during the evening.

The event will take place at Musikaliska, Nybrokajen 11, 111 48 Stockholm, on Thursday, May 15.

Read more about the event and buy tickets on Musikaliska´s web page.

A limited number of free tickets are available for members of the Chamber of Commerce who have paid their annual fee. Please then send a request to info@sweden-southeasteurope.se

Blog imagePosted by Uvner Business Consulting

Which country has the best investment climate in Eastern Europe today?Serbia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, May 07, 2014 17:17:11

Guess many governmental investment officers would want to have their country rated at the top. But this Swedish guy, who should know what he is talking about, is prepared to rate one Balkan country as the No. 1. Mats Pousette has a long experience from Serbia since he was working with companies like Åhlen & Rausing and Tetrapak in Serbia already back in the 90`s. Read what he thinks about Serbia as an investment country in this newsletter.
Anyone having another suggestion? Feel free to comment here.

One of Europe's best-kept tourism secrets?Serbia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, May 07, 2014 10:29:50

Several places in the Balkans want to draw attention to tourists by claiming they are "the best kept secret" or "forgotten paradise". This country has managed to get a British newspaper to agree. Read their report here.
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Exit CIS....Moldova

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, March 25, 2014 15:39:31

Following Ukraina´s announcement a few days ago that it will leave the CIS, lawmakers in Moldova propose to the Legislative to examine a possible leave of Moldova from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Read more in Moldova´s webpage here.

"Svedska@ME" – a Swedish Promotion event in Podgorica 1. - 4. of AprilMontenegro

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, March 24, 2014 21:05:09

"Svedska@ME" – is the first Swedish promotion event in Montenegro. It will include several activities, mainly focused on a Swedish film week which is organized by the Embassy of Sweden in cooperation with the Montenegrin National Theatre in Podgorica. The event will also include a presentation of Swedish companies as well as workshops and seminars with university students in Podgorica.

Svedska@ME will start the 1. of April with the screening of the film "Eat, sleep, die" in which the leading role is played by Nermina Lukac, an Montenegrin actress who lives and works in Sweden. Nermina Lukac, awarded the 'Shooting Stars' as one of the ten best young European actors at the 63 Berlin Film Festival, will be present at the premiere screening of the film in Montenegro, together with the producer of the film China Åhlander.

Audiences in Podgorica will be able to view the most recent of Swedish cinema through seven feature films and documentaries of various genres: "Eat, sleep, die", "Avalon", " The last sentence", " The Hidden Child", "The Pirate Bay away from keyboard", " Big Boys Gone Banans" and the film "Palme". As the spokesperson of the art of creating documentaries, Fredrik Gertten, the director of the renowned documentary "Bananas" will be a guest at a seminar at the Centre for Civil Education, speaking about how films should and need to be the mirrors of the society.

On the occasion of the Swedish Film Week in Podgorica H.E. Mr. Christer Asp, has stated: "As the ambassador of Sweden to Montenegro, it is my pleasure to present "Svedska@ME" to you. It is the first Swedish promotion event in Montenegro. "Svedska@ME" is aimed at strengthening the relations within trade, culture and education between our two countries."
The week of Swedish film "Svedska@ME" is organized by the Embassy of Sweden and the Montenegrin National Theatre in collaboration with the Center for Civic Education and the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Cetinje.

For more information about the event and the films please visit:

Trailers of the films - Embassy Youtube channel

Facebook event:Svedska@ME

Facebook page: Embassy of Sweden

Facebook page: National Theatre of Montenegro

Have a glass of "Royal Romania"Romania

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, March 23, 2014 21:08:16

They say an excellent product sells itself and probably that is particularly true when it comes to wine. The words about the product go from mouth to mouth so to speak.

But the Romanian wine producers didn´t take a chance when they introduced their best wines to Sweden some days ago. They brought not only one but two royal celebreties with them to lighten up their event at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm. And maybe that was not a bad idea after all. Allthough Romania is one of the oldest wine producing areas in the world and the biggest in Southeast Europe, the bottles that are sold in the Swedish state´s wine monopoly, Systembolaget (to keep that monopoly was one of the requirements Sweden put on the EU to accept membership), may not be the first pick by a thirsty Swede for his party. So Sweden obviously called for a special treat.

The celebreties, who came to introduce the best of the Romanian wines to Sweden, were H.R.H Prince Radu and H.R.H. Prince Nicholas of Romania, and the whole event was hosted by the charming Romanian ambassador H.E. Răduţa Matache. The large room in Grand Hotel was crowded with people who were eager to know more about Romanian wine – and perhaps have a glass or two at the end of a busy day.

In order to be able to try out most of the Romanian wine, the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden – Southeast Europe sent two of their top experts to the event.
And the verdict? ”Impressive, excellent, lovely spicy finish, round and harminous” and similar comments were words we shared with many others.

Let´s hope that the Swedish state monopoly´s purchasers who were seen carefully hiding in the crowd also shared our views, so all Swedes can enjoy an excellent drop of Romanian wine now and again without having to travel to Romania each time.

And by the way, you don´t need to bring your royals next time. We´ll be there anyway.

In the picture our Chairman Martin Ancons is seen between the Romanian Ambassador Ms Matache and H.R.H Prince Nicholas. Click on the picture for more photos (© Göran Uvner) from the venue here.

Blog imageAnd OK, if you absolutely want me to mention which of all the fine wines I preferred, it was a red one from Halewood Wines, a producer who got its name after the Englishman John Halewood who began to acquire vineyards after the fall of communism and set up his own Romanian production business.

Meet Bosnian fruit and vegetables exporters in GothenburgBosnia and Herzegovina

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, March 23, 2014 13:51:32

In an attempt to increase business cooperation between Sweden and BiH, six exporters of fruit and vegetables will travel to Gothenburg 8 - 10 April, to meet with the selected importers/distributors. The primary goal is to open the exports of fresh fruit and vegetables to Sweden, but also to explore the possibility for increased sales of processed products (frozen and pickled). Anyone interested in joining in to this B2B meeting between Bosnian and Swedish companies involved in the fruit and vegetables trade can get more information here or by sending an email to fbegovic@bosniafarma.ba.

Agricultural investment in Macedonia availableMacedonia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, March 23, 2014 13:19:17

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Macedonia is looking for a foreign company who would be interested in construction of a modern plant nursery for the production of seedlings for agricultural plants. Those interested find more information from Invest in Macedonia here.

Sweden adopts new strategy for eastern development assistanceRegional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, March 19, 2014 15:44:57

The Government of Sweden has announced that the country has adopted a new results strategy for Swedish development assistance to the countries of Eastern Europe (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) and to Turkey. The strategy will apply during 2014-2020 and Swedish support is estimated to total approximately SEK 8 billion (approx EUR 700 million).
"It is important that Sweden continues to assume long-term responsibility to support those countries that want to develop into free and democratic market economies; this is particularly important in the present situation in Ukraine. Supporting democratic agents of change and institution-building is key," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström.
The Swedish support focuses on enabling sustainable democratic development and is directed at administrative and legal reforms, democracy, human rights, civil society, economic integration and development, as well as the environment and energy. Gender equality remains a priority. Within the framework of the strategy, particular focus will be given to the situation in Ukraine and countries with a democratic deficit.

Welcome to a World of Bioenergy - in SwedenEvents and Seminars

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, March 10, 2014 12:12:54

If your business is energy of any kind, then there is only one place to be in June this year. And that is the town of Jönköping in Sweden where the World Bioenergy 2014 is taking place.
Organised every second year this major global bioenergy get-together is based on the unique “Taking you from Know-How to Show-How” concept, combining tradeshow, conference sessions, field excursions and B2B matchmaking into one comprehensive event. This way academic research and development blends with commercial experience providing a better business context. New for this year are the in-depth workshops. For more information, here is their web page.

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A banking outlook of Eastern EuropeRegional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, March 10, 2014 10:50:24

The Austrian bank UniCredit has recently released a new report looking at the development of banking in Eastern Europe and the possibility of a credit revival. The 35 page report, which covers key findings of several countries in SEE, can be downloaded here by members of the Chamber of Commerce. (It was written just before the crisis in Ukraine).

System Verification donated computers to a Bosnian schoolBosnia and Herzegovina

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, March 09, 2014 20:30:33

The Swedish IT Company System Verification, who recently started a subsidiary in Sarajevo, has handed over 15 new computers and a projector, worth approx 20 000 EUR, to the school Osnovne škole in Kozarac in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The charity project is one of the company’s social initiatives to create a brighter future for children who have limited resources.
”It is very fulfilling being able to donate new computer devices to this school. Now the children have much better opportunities to improve their computer skills, learn how to program and they can in coming years start their own businesses within for example the application industry. We are happy to contribute to a brighter future for this country and its children”, says Hamdija Jusufagic (seen far right in photo), founder and CEO at System Verification who was appointed Business Leader of the Year 2013 in Sweden.

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Ambassadors and Commercial Attachés from nine countries met with the Chamber of Commerce in StockholmEvents and Seminars

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, March 02, 2014 23:04:25

The members of the board of the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden – Southeast Europe recently met with Ambassadors and Commercial Attachés from nine countries in the region. The meeting was arranged on the initiative of the Bulgarian Ambassador, H.E. Mr Svetlan Stoev and took place in the Bulgarian embassy in Stockholm.

Nine embassies were represented at the meeting, either by the Ambassador or the Commercial Attaché or both. Martin Ancons, Chairman of the Chamber, and Roger Hellqvist made a presentation of the Chamber, how it works and what it can do for the countries in the SEE region. Mr Ancons emphasized that the Chamber is working bilaterally with the goal to promote trade in both directions. Göran Uvner gave then a presentation of the Chamber´s media platform with the news site and web forum and welcomed the Commercial Attachés to use those tools for communicating information from their respective countries.

The Bulgarian and Romanian Ambassadors concluded by saying that they have a very good experience of the cooperation with and assistance from representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and all agreed about the importance of continuous contact between the Chamber and the embassies.

Photos below by Göran Uvner

Blog image1. The Bulgarian Ambassador H.E. Mr Stoev (right) welcoming his colleagues from other SEE embassies and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce to the meeting.

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2. Tibor Szilagyi and Roger Hellqvist from the Chamber of Commerce having a pleasant conversation with the Bulgarian Commercial Attaché, Mrs Galateya Kolikova. In the background the Chairman of the Chamber, Mr Ancons, in conversation with Kosovo´s Commercial Attaché, Mr Jashari.

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3. Part of the audience with the Bulgarian, Romanian and Moldovan Ambassadors in the front row (from left).

Economic growth expected in the BalkansRegional info/economy

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Thu, February 27, 2014 10:30:52

Economic growth in most countries in the Balkans will accelerate this year, according to the World Bank's latest Global Economic Prospects report. Albania's GDP will increase by 2 percent compared to 1.3 percent in 2013. Expected growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 2 percent vs 1.5 percent; in Bulgaria it will be 1.7 percent vs 0.6 percent; in Macedonia, 3 percent vs 2.5 percent; and in Montenegro 2.5 percent compared to 1.8 percent last year. Economic growth in Romania will remain unchanged at 2.5 percent, while in Serbia it will slow to 1 percent from 2 percent in 2013. Turkey is also expected to register a lower GDP growth of 3.5 percent compared to 4.3 percent last year. (SETimes.com)

Are you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our web forum here.

"We still have some unfinished business to do in the Balkans"Regional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, February 26, 2014 11:40:15

The Words are those of Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed in an exclusive interview in the February issue of the Serbian Magazine CorD, which starts to say that "few politicians in the EU understand Serbia and the Balkans like Carl Bildt. He was co-chairman during the Dayton Peace Conference in 1995 and spent many of the following years working in the region. So it’s no surprise that the current Swedish Foreign Minister retains an interest in the EU ambitions and future of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina". Read the whole interview here.
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Are you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our web forum here.

Swedish contest for smart living innovations starts in BelgradeSerbia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, February 26, 2014 10:53:21

Smart Living Challenge SLC is an open international innovation competition designed to generate business opportunities and ideas that foster a sustainable lifestyle in urban environments. This could be products, services and solutions that will make it easier for individuals to live smarter and more sustainable lives. The SLC innovation contest is presented by the Swedish Institute, and is open to anyone interested in presenting ideas on how to make daily life more sustainable. The first presentation in Belgrade planned for March 2014, is organized in collaboration with the Design incubator Nova Iskra and the Swedish Embassy in Belgrade. More info about the SLC program is available at the Design incubator Nova Iskra web site.

The 15 winners will be awarded a trip to visit Swedish cutting-edge spots for smart urban life. There, they will have the opportunity to meet, network and exchange ideas with actors in the Swedish innovation system. The deadline for submitting ideas to the official website (www.smartlivingchallenge.com) is July 1, 2014. All the submitted ideas and further information about the challenge can be viewed at the website.

Locally, a number of workshops will be presented, with selected facilitator from Sweden and local experts. These guest workshops are to be held in 10 different countries, while the first presentation of the program outside of Sweden will be in Belgrade, Serbia, in collaboration with Design incubator Nova Iskra and SwedishEmbassy in Belgrade. The three sessions will be held on March 7th and 8th 2014.

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Are you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our web forum here.

Sweden and Macedonia in the Lonely Planet top 10 list of countries to visit in 2014Macedonia

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Tue, February 25, 2014 21:19:55

The Swedes are a travelling lot but most of us have our favorite destinations in Thailand, Spain and a few other countries. Our curiousity, however, is now taking us to new interesting places, one of them Macedonia in the Balkans, as we reported not long ago here. Now Macedonia has climbed the ladder of popularity amongst international travellers even further and joins Sweden and some other spectacular destinations in Lonely Planet´s top ten list of countries one should not miss to visit in 2014.
Furthermore Macedonia has also managed to get in to the top ten of the Rough Guide together with Bulgaria.
Picture from Lake Ohrid in Macedonia.

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Are you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our web forum here.

Hungary launch Facebook page for Sweden Hungary

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, February 25, 2014 20:29:07

The Embassy of Hungary in Stockholm has just informed us that they have launched a new Facebook page. The page is aimed to be an interactive, up-to-date, informative and prompt communication channel between the people of Hungary and Sweden or anyone else who is interested in the bilateral relations of the two countries. Follow Hungary on Facebook here.

Romania rockets to the top of CEE's thrusting recoveryRomania

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Tue, February 25, 2014 17:06:45

Central and Eastern Europe took a huge stride in its economic recovery in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to flash estimates on growth released on February 14. Amid a raft of strong data, including an impressive acceleration in the Czech Republic, Romania stood out with GDP growth of 5.2%.

It was Romania's strongest quarter in five years, and pushed the country towards a full year expansion of 3.5%. The Czech Republic meanwhile swung from a 1.2% decline in the third quarter to expansion of 0.8%. It wasn't all plain sailing; Poland disappointed slightly at 2.7% year on year. Romania however stood head and shoulders above the rest of the EU, with the Baltics - who have dominated the bloc's top spots for GDP growth over the past couple of years.
Read the full article in East Capital web page here.

Stockholm - Bucharest now nonstopRomania

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting Tue, February 25, 2014 16:56:28

TAROM, the Romanian Airlines will resume service to Sweden, after 13 years of absence. Starting with 2nd of June 2014, TAROM (a Sky Team member) will operate direct flights between Bucharest and Stockholm and return.

“TAROM’s analysis shows that the route has an important traffic potential”, according to Christian Heinzmann, the company’s General Manager.

The flights will have the following schedule, displayed in local times:
Monday, Wednesday, Sunday (on board Boeing 737-300 aircraft):
RO 331 08:40 Bucharest Otopeni (OTP) → 10:30 Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)
RO 332 11:15 Stockholm Arlanda → 15:00 Bucharest Otopeni

Tickets for the new destination are already on sale, for prices starting with EUR 155 for a return trip (with limited seats at this fare), available on the airline’s website www.tarom.ro, in TAROM offices and/or through TAROM travel agents.

Are you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our web forum here.

Take a Balkan cruise - on the BalticEvents and Seminars

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, February 25, 2014 16:40:19

17-18 May it´s time again for everyone who loves good Balkan music and wants to enjoy a real Balkan party. That´s when the next Balkan Cruise is taking off from Stockholm on board the Tallink Silja Line´s cruise ship Galaxy to the tunes of the hottest band in the Balkans, the Lexington Band and Milica Todorovic and many more. The previous cruise on November 16 last year made the waves go high between Stockholm and Helsinki and this time we´re sure the ship aint gonna roll less. More info and bookings here.

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Are you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our web forum here.

Eastern European migrants are net contributors in the West Regional info/economy

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, February 16, 2014 19:29:24

Lately the free movement of eastern European workers within the EU has been questioned. Fearing excessive use of their own welfare systems, governments have argued for continued access restrictions. This report presents research showing that eastern European migrants have been net contributors to public finances of the richer EU15 nations that received them.
In 2004 when the EU expanded from 15 to 25 member countries, all EU15 countries except Sweden made use of the possibility to temporarily restrict the new EU citizens’ access to their labour markets and welfare systems for up to seven years. Several governments have recently called on the European Commission to strengthen rules to protect the welfare states against being abused by migrants. However the Commission has answered that no evidence has been presented that indicates that widespread abuse is indeed happening. In fact, existing research tells an even more positive story. Not only is there no evidence of widespread abuse of welfare systems by eastern European migrants – if anything, public finances in the richer EU15 countries appear to have gained from their eastern European post-enlargement immigration, also when no access restrictions have been in place.
Read more here about the research result published by Joakim Ruist of the University of Gothenburg.

A Hungarian Crocodile DundeeHungary

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, February 09, 2014 13:25:05

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Remember that great scene from the movie Crocodile Dundee when some inept mugger tries to pull a knife on the outback hero in New York? “That’s not a knife. That’s a knife.” It might just be the most quoted movie line from the 1980s.

In Forbes magazine they apply that movie line to the economic comparison of Hungary’s recovery relative to Spain’s as quoted by Renaissance Capital saying, ”Spain is getting a fair amount of positive press for its revival despite somewhat moribund numbers; Hungary’s, is on a whole other scale. That’s not a recovery. That’s a recovery”.

The discussion, implying a Hungarian Crocodile Dundee effect, can be read in detail here. It should, however, be compared to what the Hungarian´s own economic research institute GKI is saying about the economic situation and outlook. And as Renaissance Capital also is quoted to say in the Forbes article: “It may be as difficult to profit from Hungary’s recovery, as it was to profit from mugging an Australian tourist in New York in 1986.”
Anyone with a comment on that?

A world without passwords - Will it begin in Serbia?Serbia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, January 28, 2014 21:39:36

This is at least what Kristofer von Beetzen at Verisec, a rapidly growing Swedish IT security company, says they are working on in their Serbian based operation. The statement is made in the latest newsletter published by the Serbian embassy in Sweden. Mr von Beetzen is, however, not revealing any details on how their Serbian experts are going to solve the delicate problem with all these passwords that everyone of us is struggling with. Let´s hope the Serbs have some magic tricks up their sleeves that no one before them has managed to pull out. And please Mr Beetzen, don´t hesitate to share a bit more of your Serbian secret with us. We are dying to know how they will do it.
Read the full interview with Kristofer von Beetzen here together with these articles:
• EU accession Talks Opened
• Incentives for renewable energy generation in 2014 doubled
• Financial Times: Vranje among top 10 business destinations in Europe

Balkan is not dead!Events and Seminars

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, January 27, 2014 18:53:29

No you can bet it ain´t. It´s just the title of a Macedonian film that, together with some other Balkan movies, will be shown in Stockholm during the BaNeFF 2014, The Balkan New Film Festival 14-16 February. The venue is Cinema Zita, Birger Jarlsgatan 37 Stockholm. Click here for more information about the the films and how to get tickets and here to come to the festival web page.
(Picture from the movie ”Balkan is not dead”)

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Meet reliable textile suppliers from MacedoniaMacedonia

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, January 23, 2014 19:00:37

The international office of INVEST MACEDONIA from Stockholm would like to invite on a B2B textile event all Swedish textile companies that are interested to meet Macedonian suppliers.
The event will take place in Copenhagen on 29th Jan, just one day before the start of CIFF, Copenhagen International Fashion Fair 2014.

This is a unique opportunity for the Swedish companies to meet 8 selected Macedonian garment producers mostly focused on CM/CMT production for ladies’ and men’s wear. During the event, the Swedish and Macedonian companies will establish important business relation via company presentations and individual meetings. Click here for venue and programme details.

New Year – New Challenges – But the Membership Fee remains the sameInformation from the Board

Posted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, January 20, 2014 18:44:24

Welcome to a new year with the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden – Southeast Europe. Last year we were involved in many activities related to our core values, ie to boost business between Sweden and the SEE countries. We are cooperating with many organisations around the region such as embassies and local chambers of commerce and have also been instrumental in organising various business activities. Business and trade, however, are not the only areas where we are active. We are also involving ourselves in charity in the region, recently a donation to a school in Mostar BiH.

The annual meeting was held in November last year, when Peter Åström, KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology), was elected to the board. Peter has a long experience of working for KTH in international missions in many parts of Eastern Europe as well as other parts of the world. Peter is also involved in the international organisation SFMT (Swedish association for materiel technology)and the Axel Hultgren foundation for scholarships. Previous board members were reelected and are presented here.

The minutes of the annual meeting can be accessed by members here.
The activity report here.
The income statement here and the Auditor´s report here.

In a few days our current members will receive the invoice for the 2014 membership fee followed by new passwords for members-only information. Those who are not already members can join by sending an email to info@sweden-southeasteurope.se telling us about your interest. We will then send you the account details.

The annual meeting decided that the 2014 membership fee will remain on the same low level as previously:
Company membership: SEK 900 or EUR 105
Individual membership: SEK 300 or EUR 35

We wish our old and new members a fruitful and prosperous year 2014.

Martin Ancons