Sweden - Southeast Europe News Site

Sweden - Southeast Europe News Site


to the news site of the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden - Southeast Europe in cooperation with Business Sweden and Governments and Organisations in SEE.

Invitation - Building partnerships between Slovenia and Sweden

SloveniaPosted 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

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Swedish telecom architect applies advanced math to network design

IT/TelecomPosted 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 friends

BulgariaPosted 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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We moved our news to twitter

Information from the BoardPosted 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.

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Towards zero delay in 5G

IT/TelecomPosted 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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Swedish telecom architect helps operators substantially increase 4G/5G performance

Events and SeminarsPosted 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

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Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs invites to Seminar on EU integration of W. Balkans

Events and SeminarsPosted 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.

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The Chamber of Commerce chooses bne IntelliNews for business intelligence

Regional info/economyPosted 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 offers

AlbaniaPosted 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 support

RomaniaPosted 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.

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Team Sweden ska samordna det svenska exportstödet

Regional info/economyPosted 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.

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

RomaniaPosted 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.

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Don´t miss our Daily Magazines from Southeast Europe

Regional info/economyPosted 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.

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Nytt ljus över Albanien

AlbaniaPosted 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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Sweden will back visa liberalisation for Kosovo

KosovoPosted 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 Bank

Regional info/economyPosted 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.

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

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Swedish Trust Fund to grant €9.5mn to Bosnia’s Federation for water supply project

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted 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)

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Q&A about Hungarian politics

HungaryPosted 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 2015

MontenegroPosted 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.

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Wizz Air to introduce Malmö-Nis flights from June 25

SerbiaPosted 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.

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

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted 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 Stockholm

SerbiaPosted 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.

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Let´s introduce ourselves

Information from the BoardPosted 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!

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What lies ahead for our region this year?

Regional info/economyPosted 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.

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Wishing you Happy Holidays and a prosperous new year

Information from the BoardPosted 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/economyPosted 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.

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More good news from Bulgaria

BulgariaPosted 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.

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Swedish AQ Plastronic expanding in Bulgaria

BulgariaPosted 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.

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

MoldovaPosted 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.

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Follow our news on Twitter

Information from the BoardPosted 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 rules

Regional info/economyPosted 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.

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Help the victims of the floodings in the Balkans and we give you a free membership in the Chamber of Commerce

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, June 03, 2014 18:14:04

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 companies

CroatiaPosted 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 Stockholm

MoldovaPosted 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

Posted by Uvner Business Consulting

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

SerbiaPosted 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.

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One of Europe's best-kept tourism secrets?

SerbiaPosted 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....

MoldovaPosted 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.

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

MontenegroPosted 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

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Agricultural investment in Macedonia available

MacedoniaPosted 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.

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Sweden adopts new strategy for eastern development assistance

Regional info/economyPosted 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.

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A banking outlook of Eastern Europe

Regional info/economyPosted 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).

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

Events and SeminarsPosted 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

1. 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.

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.

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

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"We still have some unfinished business to do in the Balkans"

Regional info/economyPosted 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.

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.

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Swedish contest for smart living innovations starts in Belgrade

SerbiaPosted 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.

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.

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Hungary launch Facebook page for Sweden

HungaryPosted 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.

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Take a Balkan cruise - on the Baltic

Events and SeminarsPosted 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.

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.

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Eastern European migrants are net contributors in the West

Regional info/economyPosted 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.

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A Hungarian Crocodile Dundee

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

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?

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A world without passwords - Will it begin in Serbia?

SerbiaPosted 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

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Balkan is not dead!

Events and SeminarsPosted 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 Macedonia

MacedoniaPosted 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.

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New Year – New Challenges – But the Membership Fee remains the same

Information from the BoardPosted 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

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Hungarian innovations and investment opportunities to be presented at KTH, Stockholm

HungaryPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, January 20, 2014 17:24:16

Friday 31 January will be an Hungarian day at the Royal Technology Institute (KTH) in Stockholm as Hungarian officials and high tech companies will present what they can offer their Swedish counterparts and investors.
The seminar will be opened by KTH president Peter Gudmundsson to be followed by an introduction to KTH:s innovation system by Professor Ramon Wyss, Vice President, International Affairs at KTH. During the rest of the seminar Hungarian innovators, education system and business cases will be presented to the audience. Several Hungarian start ups will introduce their activities.
On the agenda is also a presentation of Ericsson in Hungary.
Members of the Chamber of Commerce can download the agenda and invitation here.

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On a fast track to China

BulgariaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, January 20, 2014 16:51:20

We all know that China is flirting intensively with the emerging countries in Africa and Eastern Europe, promising investments and cheap loans. China has been wooing Romania for quite some time and now it seems to be Bulgaria´s turn to receive offers they can´t resist.
On a trade visit to Beijing, Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, praised growing economic ties with Asian superpower. Bulgaria’s President said that two leading Chinese construction companies have submitted proposals to build the Black Sea motorway.
Construction of the motorway is among the projects proposed by Bulgaria as it competes for Chinese funding under its initiative for cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This envisages a total credit line of 10 billion US dollars.
During Plevneliev’s visit to China, he and President Xi Jinping agreed to double trade volume over the next five years.
Read more in this Balkan Insight article.

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Berg replaces Berg in Business Sweden

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, January 20, 2014 16:44:21

The Software company Dassault Systèmes Nordic CEO, Mrs Ylva Berg, takes over as CEO for Business Sweden, the joint organization for Swedish Trade and Invest (FD) organization. It was just over two years ago as Ylva Berg took over the Nordic CEO for Dassault Systèmes, she was previously also CEO of Technia in Sweden.
Ylva Berg replaces Ulf Berg. Hopefully she can turn the heavy organisation around reducing the cost and/or increaseing the revenue in this partly governmental Swedish organisation.

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Bildt´s Christmas tweet to Serbia: "You´ve got green light and it´s good for the region"

SerbiaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, December 27, 2013 13:53:44

EU ministers for European affairs on December 17 in Brussels approved the negotiating mandate for the accession negotiations with Serbia and evaluated the progress on the enlargement and stabilisation and association process.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt stated positive words about the announcement in his blog and tweeted: "Green light for start of EU accession talks for Serbia. And good negotiating framework. Important for entire region."

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Join Raiffeisen this Christmas with a donation to the charity foundation for vulnerable children and women in CEE!

Information from the BoardPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, December 23, 2013 11:45:40

Raiffeisen Bank International is active all over the CEE region. The former CEO, Herbert Stepic, has founded an association with the aim of helping people to help themselves. With the voluntary commitment of the employees, 27 projects have been implemented successfully, focusing on vulnerable children, adolescents and women.
All raised money goes directly to the projects! The H.Stepic Charity has no administrative expenses.
The board of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe joins Lars Bergström, Head of the Raiffeisen Nordic Representative Office asking our members for a donation to their charity foundation. Make the contribution here.

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Santa came early to a child center in Mostar this year

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, December 22, 2013 23:47:15

The Children in the Child and Youth Center ”Los Rosales” in Mostar must have thought that Santa Claus came unusally early to them this year when they were visisted by people from the far north bringing them several presents. A large donation of 16 personal computers was given to the Center from the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europpe and the municipality of Enköping (a small town just north of Stockholm). The donation was presented to the Child and Youth Center by the Chairman of our Chamber of Commerce, Martin Ancons.

At the ceremony the Director of the youth center, Ms Aida Milavic, expressed her gratitude particularly to Mr Ancons, mentioning him as a great friend of Mostar and a person with a very good knowledge of Bosnia Herzegovina.

The Chairman of Mostar´s Chamber of Commerce, Mr Dalibor Milos, made a short speech in which he stressed the importance that official authorities and organisations must recognize their social responsibility to help ”Los Rosales” in their daily operation.
Read more in a Bosnian newspaper here.
Below a photo from the youth center with the donated computers together with a picture of Mr Ancons, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe.

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600 applicants took on the Swedish Challenge in Bosnia

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, December 22, 2013 23:21:14

As we have reported earlier, the Swedish Challenge was launched by SIDA and the Swedish embassy in Sarajevo with invitation to enterprises to compete for financial support for business ideas being implemented in BiH.

The project was launched during a very limited time frame. The first call for proposals started at the end of summer 2013 and was concluded on 30/11-2013. The call for proposals exceeded all expectations in terms of number of applications as well as with regards to quality. About 600 applications were successfully submitted in less than two months. The winners will be announced early next year.

The responsibility to set up the IT infrastructure to handle the web based part of the project was given to SEEBA, a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden-Southeast Europe. Åsa Trulsson, responsible program officer at SIDA, says: ”Cooperating with SEEBA has been a positive experience and the IT-system fulfilled our expectations and has functioned exemplary.
Read more about the Swedish Challenge in the SEEBA website here.

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Svensk premiär för filmen om Belgrad

SerbiaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, December 01, 2013 22:21:59

Välkommen till den svenska premiärvisningen av filmen om Belgrad, staden som på kort tid har kommit att bli det nya resmålet för alla de som vill uppleva det genuina och charmiga Europa uppblandat med en ny ungdomlig atmosfär med ett pulserande nattliv.

Vid premiären kommer regissören bakom filmen, Boris Malagurski – han som fått epitetet Balkans Michael Moore - att närvara och intervjuas av Jovan Radomir.

Tid: 15 december 2013. Kl 13.00
Plats: Zeta Salen ABF STHLM Sveavägen 41
Speltid: 1h 30min

Mer info och bokning av biljetter kan göras här och en trailer för filmen kan du se här.

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Svenssons nya turistmål?

MacedoniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, November 06, 2013 13:49:01

-Det är svårt att inte bli förälskad i det vänliga, lite rufsiga och mycket välsmakande Makedonien, till ytan strax mindre än Småland. Det känns som att alla man möter vill prata – många pratar engelska eller tyska – och vill veta vad man tycker om landet och om man har blivit vänligt bemött. Detta står att läsa i en reseskildring i Svenska Dagbladet nyligen.
Turismen växer förhållandevis snabbt. Ett populärt resmål är den lilla staden Ohrid i sydvästra Makedonien som är upptagen på Unescos världsarvslista, med vackra badstränder och dramatiska klippor vid Ohridsjön – en av Europas äldsta och djupaste sjöar, med Albanien som en avlägsen grön bergssilhuett i fonden. Staden klättrar på sluttningarna och i gränderna samsas butiker, verkstäder, restauranger, kaféer – och kyrkor. De sägs vara 365 stycken, en för varje dag. Staden är trivsamt lågsäsongssömnig, men på sommaren råder högt tryck.
Turismen har exploderat de senaste tio åren. Kanske ett nytt resmål för svenskar och andra nordbor sugna på omväxling från Kanarieöarna och Thailand. Speciellt som Wizair m fl börjat med lågprisflyg till Skopje.
Sannolikt bara en tidsfråga innan en resebyrå arrangerar charter till Makedonien. Vem blir den förste?
Läs mer vad SvD skriver här.

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EU:s politik på Västra Balkan

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, November 05, 2013 16:52:43

EU har utvecklat en politik som innebär att länderna på västra Balkan gradvis ska integreras med unionen. Den 1 juli 2013 blev Kroatien det första av de sju länderna att ansluta sig, och Montenegro, Serbien och före detta jugoslaviska republiken Makedonien är officiella kandidatländer. Anslutningsförhandlingar pågår med Montenegro, och Europeiska rådet beslutade i juni 2013 att inleda förhandlingar med Serbien. Albanien, Bosnien och Hercegovina samt Kosovo är också potentiella kandidatländer.
Stabiliserings- och associeringsprocessen, lanserad 1999, är det strategiska ramverk som används för att länderna på västra Balkan gradvis ska närma sig Europeiska unionen. Denna policy baseras på bilaterala avtalsförbindelser, ekonomiskt stöd, politisk dialog, handelsförbindelser och regionalt samarbete.
I detta faktablad informerar Europeiska Unionen om stabiliserings- och associeringsprocessen samt om läget för respektive land i regionen.

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Sweden´s engagement in the Balkans continues

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, October 27, 2013 15:30:12
"Although the Swedish military was pulling out of Kosovo last week, the Swedish engagement in the Balkans continues", Swedish Minister of Defence, Karin Enström, and Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, are stating in this article (in Swedish).

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Join in at the biggest Mobile Event in the Balkans - Sponsored by Sweden

Events and SeminarsPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, October 06, 2013 13:53:51

Mobile AppCamp Macedonia is the biggest Mobile Technology event in the Balkans where mobile start-ups and developers exhibit their mobile applications, schedule b2b meetings with their peers, try to impress investors with the innovations and have a lot of fun. So if you have a mobile application or a prototype on any operating system – your place is here! Learn new ways to accelerate your mobile application and find your future partners and co-founders.

During the two days 26-27 October of the Mobile AppCamp, participants will be able to attend live panel discussions with today’s most prominent Mobile Technology experts. among them the famous Swedish startup investor, Johan Stael von Holstein, who is also known as a controversial debater. Workshops, exhibition, b2b meetings, pitching session will fill the programme for this year’s Mobile AppCamp.

This state of the art event, in the forefront of mobile technology, is organized and sponsored by Swedes. All participants at the event will be able to schedule face-to-face meetings with other participants or with some of the speakers.

There is no admission fee to the event. Click here for more information and registration details.

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Carl Bildt does it...

Information from the BoardPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, September 30, 2013 21:50:27
...as well as many other politicians and industrialists in Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe.
They follow us on twitter.
Why don´t you do that as well?
Just click here.

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H&M plans to open four new stores in Romania by the end of 2013

RomaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, September 26, 2013 09:03:50
The Swedish fashion retailer H&M plans to open four new stores by the end of November 2013 in Romania according to a newsflash from PMR; one in Ploiesti and three in Bucharest. As a result, the company will reach a total of 29 outlets on the Romanian market. The H&M store in Ploiesti, the second in the city, will be inaugurated on 3 October 2013 in the AFI Palace shopping centre.An H&M store in the Promenada Floreasca shopping centre in Bucharest will be open on 17 October 2013. A high-street outlet will be inaugurated on 7 November 2013 in Bucharest. There is no date scheduled for the inauguration of the H&M store slated to be opened in Bucharest’s Iris Shopping Center.
H&M has opened six new stores since the beginning of this year.
H&M doubled its sales revenues on the Romanian market in the 2011/2012 fiscal year (ending 30 November), thus reaching €74m. It opened eight new stores last year in Romania.

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The Challenge – a Swedish initiative to support small enterprises in Bosnia

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, September 25, 2013 09:47:25

The Embassy of Sweden in Sarajevo is launching The Challenge – an invitation for companies to compete for financial support for their business ideas.

The purpose of the Challenge is to support the private sector in BiH by providing grants to project proposals that deliver both commercial benefits for the private sector and developmental benefits for the population in BiH, for example in terms of job creation and income improvements. Thus, the grants will give enterprises the opportunity to implement innovative and commercially viable business ventures in BiH. The fund will award grants to provide partial funding, of up to 50% of accepted proposal budgets (with a maximum grant size of EUR 30 000), to registered Bosnian and Swedish micro and small enterprises operating, or setting out to operate, in BiH. It is expected that the selected project proposals will be implemented within a 12 month period.

There will be a total of three calls for proposals during the period 2013-2015. The grants will be given for a one-year period in the normal case. In total an estimated SEK 4,5 million will be provided in grants. The first call for proposals will be in October 2013.
For more information about the selection criteria and how to apply, click here.
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 forum at Linkedin here.

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Ta en charter till ”the hidden bargain of the Balkans” nästa år

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, September 07, 2013 20:34:21

Albanien har länge varit det enda Balkanlandet utan charter från Sverige, men nästa sommar blir det ändring på det. Apollo startar då resor till badorten Saranda.
– Albanien är ett nytt spännande land med fantastiska möjligheter till sol, bad och upplevelser, säger Apollos vd Nina Hornewall till tidningen Expressen.
Brittiska Mail Online skriver lyriskt om "Europe´s last corner" i artikeln "Beaches and beauty in Albania, the hidden bargain of the Balkans" och säger samtidigt "you better go there soon if you want to catch the authentic Albania".

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World Bank donates PCs to non-profit organizations in Bosnia. Apply by Sept 20

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, September 06, 2013 10:53:01

The World Bank office in Bosnia and Herzegovina invites charitable/non-profit organizations active in Bosnia and Herzegovina to apply for a donation of used computer equipment. The equipment will be donated to one or more organizations on an ‘as-is, where-is’ condition, with no warranty or guarantee from the World Bank. The following equipment will be donated:
•16 desktop computers without monitors (Lenovo ThinkCentre M58)
•10 laptop computers (Lenovo X200, T400 and T410)
•5 UPS (APC 500-620 VA)
All computers have: Intel Core2Duo, 4 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD and Windows Vista preinstalled.
Read how to apply in the World Bank web site.

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A few songs a day keep the doctor away (says Serbian researcher)

SerbiaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, September 06, 2013 10:34:29

You don't need to get up and exercise to improve your heart health, according to Serbian researchers who say listening to music for 30 minutes a day improves fitness and heart function. They found that people who just listened to their favourite music for half an hour each day increased their cardiovascular function by 19 percent, and those who paired it with exercise for another 30 minutes improved by 39 percent over three weeks.
How does it work? The key is endorphins, or happy hormones, that are released when we listen to music we like. And if you´re not convinced, read here how Prof Delijanin Ilic from the University of Nis in Serbia explains the result of the study.

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Kosovo company steps into the Macedonian market

KosovoPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, September 06, 2013 10:19:48
We have not written much about Kosovo here lately. To be frank we don´t get much info from companies in the country or their Swedish embassy. Maybe that will change, however, as we learn that Kosovan companies are on the move with investments into other countries. Macedonia seems to be one such target market as Kosova´s Elkos Group is planning to build a trade centre in Shtip this year, making it the biggest investment by a Kosovo company in the country. Read more in the SETimes.com news here.

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How to increase business cooperation between Sweden and Herzegovina discussed in Mostar

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, July 28, 2013 16:51:58

The Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe, Mr Martin Ancons, was recently invited as guest at a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Mostar. The meeting was held in the INTERA Technology Park and was a continuation of the close cooperation that the two Chambers of Commerce started earlier this year. At the meeting Mr Ancons discussed with local Mostar businessmen how to increase the cooperation between Sweden and the Mostar and Herzegovina region. Mr Ancons informed the members of the Mostar Chamber of Commerce on how to be successful in business relations with Swedish companies. He also touched upon the fact that there are a high number of successful businessmen from former Yugoslavia now living and working in Sweden, a fact that opens up opportunities for companies from this region. Mr Ancons also mentioned that there presently seems to be a tendency for Swedish companies to move projects and manufacturing from Asia to Europe and herein lies a great opportunity for companies in Southeast Europe. A full report from the meeting can be found in the website of the Mostar Chamber of Commerce (in Bosnian language).
Mr Ancons second from left in the picture.

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OUTSOURCE TO EUROPE- Major IT outsourcing event to be held in Stockholm

Events and SeminarsPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, July 13, 2013 08:56:17

Earlier many western companies looked to India and Far East for getting their IT-jobs done at affordable prices. Now you don´t have to look as far as that. Instead look to the “near East”, Southeast Europe to be more precise. The evolution of IT companies in this corner of Europe has been going on at a tremendous speed lately, many of them now offering highly advanced IT and media experts at prices that clearly can compete with those in the Far East and are way below what is standard in Western Europe. All within 2-3 hours flight from Scandinavia in the same time zone and with a European mindset.

South Eastern European Business Agency (SEEBA) is planning a seminar and matchmaking event, inviting IT companies from SEE to meet up with Nordic potential customers in Stockholm in November this year.

So whether you are representing an IT/Media company in Southeast Europe or a Nordic company in the need of help with your IT or Media production, register here and we´ll keep you updated about the event and the conditions for participation.

This event is supported by the Chamber of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe.

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Swedish IT companies now choose Eastern Europe for outsourcing before India

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, June 28, 2013 09:21:15

Countries in Eastern Europe are increasingly taking over from India as the main target for Swedish IT companie´s offshore activities, reports Computer Sweden in a large double spread article. The CEO of Softronic AB, Anders Eriksson, even stretches as far as saying "I would never dare to start a Company in India".
One country that is particularly mentioned in the article is Serbia, where both Microsoft and Intel have started software development centers.
Read more (in Swedish) in the Computer Sweden article here.

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 forum at Linkedin here.

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Hungarian recession has come to an end - statistically

HungaryPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, June 27, 2013 17:54:11

"In Hungary recession has come to an end in statistical terms", writes the Hungarian GKI Economic Research Institute in its forecast for 2013. However, there are no genuine changes, as investments and consumption continued to decline compared with the previous quarter, and only exports (and, to a larger extent, imports) increased. Data showing unfavourable performance of industry, foreign trade and retail trade in the first quarter of 2013 improved slightly in April. The banking system is in "survival mode". In the first four months employment at companies employing more than five persons and in the public sector declined by 0.7 per cent. However, CSO surveys show that the proportion of those doing some kind of work increased by 1 per cent. Read the full report here.

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EU must be prepared to honor its commitments

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, June 26, 2013 19:26:30

"The Balkans is approaching the historical year of 2014. Eyes
are going to turn to the region where 100 years ago the great European war
started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. But
2014 could also be a historic year in the process of European integration", write
the Austrian Minister for European and International Affairs Michael Spindelegger and Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt in a joint statement published on the website of the Embassy of Sweden in Sarajevo. Read the full statement here.

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Can Sweden`s ”Bad Bankers” save the Banks in Slovenia?

SloveniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, June 20, 2013 10:47:47

Swedes seem to be popular advisers in Slovenia these days. Particularly in the finance world, where Slovenian finance ministry has appointed Carl-John Lindgren, Arne Berggren and Lars Nyberg as directors in the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC). BAMC has been established after the Swedish model Securum, which was created during the Swedish financial crisis in the early 1990´s with the only goal to take over and administrate bad loans from the Swedish banks. Both Berggren and Nyberg where instrumental in Securum, which now is seen as a raw model for saving banks in many countries during the current financial crisis.

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Banks in CEE outperform those in Eurozone

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, May 16, 2013 14:14:16

"In terms of growth and profit, the banking sector in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) continues to outperform its Western European counterpart, as growth opportunities and margins in CEE remain significantly higher. New banking regulations in Europe and CEE will bring new challenges for the region," stated the analysts of Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) and Raiffeisen Centrobank AG (RCB) in their latest edition of Raiffeisen Research's annual CEE Banking Sector Report titled "Commitment will be rewarded". The report was presented on the occasion of the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Istanbul. Read more in the RBI report here.
Raiffeisen International was again Austria's most profitable bank this year and reported a consolidated profit of € 725 million for the financial year 2012.

Are you a Swede doing business with the Balkans area or somebody in that area doing business with Sweden, then you shouldn´t miss to join our business group at Linkedin here.

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Launch of the Balkan Art and Culture Fund

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, May 10, 2013 22:14:31
The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) is announcing a new partnership with ArtAngle – Balkans | Culture | Development, an organisation based in the Balkan region that will take over the management of the Balkan Incentive Fund for Culture (BIFC) from July 2013. The fund works to strengthen relations across the Western Balkans and the region’s relations with Europe.
The fund prefers projects with lead applicants from the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro or Serbia. If the lead applicant is based outside of the Western Balkans, eg Sweden, then the lead applicant must collaborate with partners from the Western Balkans.
The average award given is €15,000 with a maximum of €30,000.
Read more here.

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Croatia to privatise its airline

CroatiaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, May 10, 2013 21:35:19
According to Croatia´s Legislative & Policy Journal, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Sinisa Hajdas Doncic (SDP) announced that the government intends restructure Croatia Airlines (CA) and is seriously considering privatising the state-owned carrier. While restructuring the struggling carrier, the minister stated that they will seek a potential strategic partner. Due to EU regulations, the government can privatise up to 49% to non-EU investors and up to 100% for investors from EU member states. Read more here.

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Highest economic freedom in Macedonia!

MacedoniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, April 29, 2013 12:06:20

Macedonia tops the region in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, annually compiled by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation. Macedonia ranks in 43rd place out of 177 countries listed in the index.
Even most countries in Southwestern europe are behind Macedonia. To mention a few, Spain is number 46, France 62, Italy 83 and Greece at 117th.
Sweden ranks as number 18th Before countries like Norway, Denmark but after Finland, USA and UK.
The index measures ten components of economic freedom, assigning a grade to each using a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 represents the maximum freedom. The components are: property rights, freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom, government spending, and business, labour, monetary, trade, investment and financial freedom.
Worldwide, Hong Kong tops the ranking for the 19th year, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. (News from Balkan Insight)

You can read more about the Index here.

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Save the planet in Sofia

Events and SeminarsPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, April 28, 2013 09:48:09
From 29 to 31 May 5 international trade events at Via Expo in Sofia will highlight new products, technological innovations and business trends for the “green” industry sectors in the region of Southeast Europe. Apart from the exhibition, the program includes also parallel forums, panel discussions and networking events for promoting knowledge transfer.

Save the Planet’ is the Conference on Waste Management & Recycling, where you can get acquainted with the latest developments in the sectors and find new business partners from South-East Europe.
So far companies from many European companies have registered to the event, but only one from Sweden, Presona AB according to the organizers. Don´t we have more specialists in waste management in Sweden…?
Read more about the event here.

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Can we buy your garbage?

Energy & EnvironmentPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, April 28, 2013 09:12:23

Since recycling is extremely popular in Sweden and only 4% of all waste generated in the country is landfilled, it has been forced to import waste. Bulgaria and Romania are now considered possible options, according to Catarina Östlund, a senior advisor for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. "We have more capacity than the production of waste in Sweden”, says Catarina Östlund according to Save the Planet International Eco Forum.

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Watch Croatia direct on BBC

CroatiaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, April 27, 2013 16:14:55
Croatia will pull together a coverage of pictures and videos focused on Croatia’s entry into the EU in July-across BBC World News and BBC.com. The series is called Croatia Direct and will run between April 22 and May 3.

Eighteen years after the end of armed conflict in Croatia, the country will become the 28th member of the EU. Country Direct will explore the challenges of Croatia’s integration with Europe during the midst of an economic crisis across the Eurozone nations. Go to Croatia Direct on the BBC website here.

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Our forum is growing fast. Welcome to join!

Information from the BoardPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, April 27, 2013 13:20:44
Our forum in Linkedin is steadily growing, quickly approaching 100 members, attracting new every day. We have now many members from companies, organisations and embassies in Sweden as well as the Balkan countries.
If you are a person with a strong interest to build business and/or cultural relations between our two regions, then you are most welcome to join. You do that by clicking here.

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Slovenians threatning to sue Swedes over salami blunder

SloveniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, April 27, 2013 12:32:17
According to a news flash from the Slovenian Press Agency, the Slovenian food company Košaki is threatning to sue the Swedish National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket),because they have been wrongly accused of selling halal salami that contained pork. According to the news, Košaki says it will sue the Swedish lab that did the preliminary tests for at least EUR 450,000 in damages.

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Opa Balkan Style!

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, April 21, 2013 11:18:50
Ado and Dino - two great performers from the town of Västerås in Sweden.

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A Historic Deal? "Fan tro´t" as we say in Swedish....

KosovoPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, April 20, 2013 22:51:48
You all heard about it by now. The initialisation of the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo last week. The draft agreement envisions that the local Serbian community will choose local police commanders, while the composition of the police will reflect the ethnic structure on the ground. The draft also proposes more judges coming from the Serbian minority.A so-called Association of Serb Municipalities with broad powers will include the four Serb-run northern municipalities of North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zvecan and Zubin Potok.
For the agreement to take force the two states have to finalise it within a few days. "Fan tro´t".

Read more from Balkan Insight here.

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Swedish Higher Education Council organises contact seminars in Western Balkans.

Events and SeminarsPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, April 20, 2013 22:25:47

The newly founded Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) is organizing a contact seminar in Sarajevo and Tirana 7-11 October 2013. The seminar is a cooperation between higher education programmes within the framework of the future EUprogramme of the current Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programmes as well as the Swedish funded Linnaeus-Palme programme.

The purpose of the seminar is to facilitate for the Swedish higher education institutions to establish new contacts with institutions in the Western Balkans, in order to create partnerships and new projects together. The seminar addresses scholars and administrative staff at Swedish higher education institutions with an interest to cooperate with institutions in Bosnia, Albania and other countries in the region who will be invited to participate. More information here.

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Next Eurozone country to require a bailout?

SloveniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, April 20, 2013 21:11:16

Slovenia must immediately take action to restructure and privatise its banks and shore up public finances if it wants to avoid becoming the next Eurozone country to require a bailout, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in a Reuters interview.

Slovenia is back in recession, with a banking system that is coming part under the burden of bad loans worth about EUR7bn, or 20% of GDP, mostly at state-controlled banks. There's been a political crisis too as politicians squabble over the reforms necessary to put the country's finances in order. More here.

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Croatia is on track to become the EU's 28th member state on 1 July

CroatiaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, April 20, 2013 20:51:20
Croatia is on track to become the EU's 28th member state on 1 July, MEPs said on Thursday in their last resolution before it is scheduled to join. They highlighted the strength of Croatia's democracy, social market economy and capacity to fulfil its membership obligations and called on the last two member states, Denmark and Germany, that still have to approve Croatia's accession to do so without delay. More here.

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International leaders address Macedonian students in webinar

MacedoniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, April 19, 2013 14:54:07

On May 14, Macedonia 2025 will host the first Webinar, part of its educational programs. The main purpose of these webinars is to give Macedonian students the unique opportunity to listen to the success stories of renowned business leaders and internationally acknowledged educators.
The first speaker is Mr. Mike Zafirovski, Chairman of the Macedonia 2025 Board of Directors. Mr. Zafirovski is Executive Adviser to Blackstone and since 2004, he has served on the Board of directors of Boeing. Mr. Zafirovski has a long and stunning career and he will share his story in front of the young Macedonian professionals.
The registration will soon be opened here.

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Emerging superstar with wild beauty

MontenegroPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, April 18, 2013 08:48:12

Imagine a place with sapphire beaches as spectacular as Croatia’s, rugged peaks as dramatic as Switzerland’s, canyons nearly as deep as Colorado’s, palazzi as elegant as Venice’s and towns as old as Greece’s. Then wrap it up in a Mediterranean climate and squish it into an area two-thirds the size of Wales, and you start to get a picture of Montenegro.
These are the euphorical words of the Lonely Planet travel experts when they put Montenegro second only to Sri Lanka on their list "Best in Travel 2013".

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New Swedish Ambassadors appointed to countries in Souhteast Europe

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, April 15, 2013 13:17:10

The Swedish Government has announced changes in three new Embassies in Southeast Europe.

Lars Schmidt new Ambassador to Croatia
Mr Schmidt is currently posted in Dublin to assist the Stockholm-based Ambassador for Ireland during the Irish EU Presidency. He has previously served at the Embassy in Belgrade and at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU in Brussels.

Mats Staffansson new Ambassador to Macedonia
Mr Staffansson is currently Ambassador in Riga. He has previously served at the embassies in Moscow, London, Kiev and Warsaw. He subsequently served as Ambassador in Belgrade and Warsaw. Mr Staffansson speaks Serbo-Croatian fluently.

Bosse Hedberg will leave Bosnia
Mr Hedberg, currently Ambassador to Bosnia, has been appointed Ambassador to Iceland. He has previously served at the Embassy in Tunis, the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and in the MFAs Department for International Law, Human Rights and Treaty Law.
There has been no announcement who will be appointed Ambassador to Bosnia after Mr Hedberg.
The Chamber of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe wants to thank Ambassador Hedberg for an excellent cooperation and all assistant he and his Embassy have given to members of our Chamber.

All three changes will take place in the autumn this year.

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Swedish wood industry get together in Sarajevo

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, April 11, 2013 21:28:35

SEEBA (South Eastern European Business Agency) i samarbete med Sveriges Ambassad i Sarajevo inbjuder till ett tredagars företagsbesök till den dynamiska trä- och möbelindustrin i Bosnien och Hercegovina 13-15 juni 2013.

Inbjudan vänder sig till företag verksamma inom allt från timmer och massa till möbler och prefab-hus samt relaterade service- och grenindustrier. Vi vill med besöket erbjuda dig som företagsrepresentant en inblick i den bosniska trä- och möbelindustrin, med företagsbesök, seminarium och kunskapsutbyte – allt i syfte att visa på handels- och investeringsmöjligheter för svenska företag.

Bosnien-Hercegovina är till 53% täckt av skogsmark och träindustrin utgör ca 10% av BNP. Här beräknas finnas runt 340 miljoner m3 skog, varav 135 miljoner är barr- och 205 lövträd, inte minst den bosniska boken. Flera av Bosniens ledande företag är verksamma inom skogs- och träindustrin och arbetar med allt från skogsbruk till förädling och står för ca 20% av den totala bosniska exporten. Träindustrin är diversifierad med tillverkning av möbler, golv, plywood, papper, finsnickerier, lastpallar, dörrar och prefab-hus. Tillgången till träsorter av hög kvalitet, det industriella kunnandet, samt det fördelaktiga löneläget gör sektorn till en attraktiv affärs- och investeringsmöjlighet.

För mer information besök http://swebihwood.com

Brief English summary: “SWEBiH Wood Horizons” is a three-day event that will offer a range of activities for Swedish companies looking to deepen their understanding of the dynamic wood industry in BiH, while both BiH and Swedish companies will have the opportunity to network and conclude business deals. The event will include site visits, B2B meetings, company presentations, seminars, case studies, and more. The purpose is to stimulate information sharing and the exchange of knowledge, with the ultimate goal to reinforce trading bonds between the two countries.

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Our Business Forum now open for members

Information from the BoardPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, April 07, 2013 21:58:41

Welcome to apply for participation in our new Business Forum which is linked to the Chamber of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe.

The main scope of the forum is to serve as a discussion and information platform between professionals with a particular interest in doing business between Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe. It is a closed Forum with participation on invitation only. However, you are very welcome as a member if your scope of interest matches ours. Then just click here and then on the "join" button.

Members of the group can share and discuss anything in the Forum that is relevant to our scope.

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Dealing with Corruption in Southeast Europe - Any Progress?

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, April 06, 2013 12:20:45
Despite efforts to bring economic and democratic reforms, many countries in Southeast Europe remain beset by corruption writes SETimes.com, who has put together a report that highlights what actions countries in the region are taking to root out the corrupt practices. Read the report here.

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CEE Industry showing signs of bottoming says major bank in new Q2/13 forecast

Regional info/economyPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, April 04, 2013 22:50:20
CEE has had to work through an external demand and credit shock but industry is showng signs of bottoming. The region has also adjusted to funding new credit extension with deposits, albeit with some important exceptions. Full year growth numbers this year will be unimpressive in many cases but Q4 last year should have marked the bottom in the cycle. Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary continue to lag on growth. Read all about it in the 80 page report covering 17 countries, which you can download in our Business Forum here.

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Learn all about Balkan Infrastructure and Construction in Vienna 29 March

Events and SeminarsPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, March 12, 2013 09:23:58

The Balkans Infrastructure & Construction 2013 Summit will aim to cover the latest infrastructure developments within the Balkans; from the latest ventures in transportation, energy, water and urban development. The BIC Summit 2013 will provide a clear outline for those who are interested in understanding more about the countries potential and investment opportunities. Read all about the event here.

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