Economics

  • An outlook on Russia’s economy: Financial strength and economic weakness

    By Stanislav Murashov, Raiffeisenbank in Russia, and Andreas Schwabe, RBI | An oil price shock and the introduction of economic and financial sanctions led to a strong devaluation of the rouble and a recession in 2014-15. Since then, however, Russia has clearly regained financial strength. This is expressed in a surplus on both the current […]

  • Economic and cultural facts about Russia at a glance

    In October, the Discover CEE spotlight is on Russia! Watch out for several blog posts on Russia’s business, culture and success stories. Today, we have the most interesting economic data and cultural facts about Russia at a glance for you. The fact sheet is also downloadable in print version.   Click here to print the […]

  • Investing in Kosovo

    By Patricia Lang-Schönberger | Discover CEE spoke to Wilhelm-Peter Hasslacher from the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO), who works as business delegate for the Foreign Trade Centre Laibach in Slovenia. He is an expert on Southeastern Europe: his assignments as business delegate have taken him to Zagreb and Sarajevo, and he is now in Ljubljana, where […]

  • Economic and cultural facts about Kosovo at a glance

    In September, the Discover CEE spotlight is on Kosovo! Watch out for several blog posts on Kosovo’s business, culture and success stories. Today, we have the most interesting economic data and cultural facts about Kosovo at a glance for you. The fact sheet is also downloadable in print version. Click here to print the fact […]

  • Evaluating the impact of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economic forum

    Belma Hadžiomerović, Raiffeisen Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina, interviewed Emir Kurtic

    In February, Sarajevo hosted the third edition of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Economic Forum. One of its organizers, Emir Kurtic from the Sarajevo Faculty of Economics, spoke to Discover CEE about the importance of the forum.

    Dr Emir Kurtic, Sarajevo Faculty of Economics

    The Economic Forum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is an annual gathering of representatives of the BiH executive government, local and regional companies, the diplomatic sector and the academic community. It has been organized in Sarajevo since 2017 and so far, it has attracted more than 1,000 participants every year.

    “A central idea behind the BiH Economic Forum is to establish a platform for an open dialogue between representatives of the business community, the academic community and economic policy makers in the country,” says Dr Kurtic. “By organising this forum, the Sarajevo University’s Faculty of Economics is trying to contribute to the development of stronger ties between different interest and influential groups sharing a common business interest in BiH – concrete proposals and guidelines for the creation of future economic policies also set as concrete goal of the forum.”

    The program for all three forums held so far was organized in three or four sessions covering key economic topics in BiH.

    “Some of the topics covered included reforms, the business environment, the importance of the academic community, public-private partnerships, the rule of law and legal security as a basis for investment and development, the quality of university education, as well as economic cooperation between the Republic of Austria and BiH – this was the central topic of the last forum,” adds Dr Kurtic.

    The forum concluded that the definite priority for BiH is to solve its economic issues, while the region needs to establish a set of active reform policies to raise competitiveness via public-private partnerships. “The forum also discussed university education and the employment of young people upon completion of their studies. We need to find a better method of cooperation between employers and universities and to work on developing a more efficient support mechanism for graduate students in their job hunting process. University enrollment policies should account for real sector needs, while universities and representatives of the business community should jointly promote the importance of quality university education,” says Dr Kurtic.

    In Dr Kurtic’s opinion, the BiH business environment must be shifted from an economy of seeking support and cheap labor to one that focuses on innovation and the production of highly sophisticated products and services.

    “Improvements may also extend to investors by providing them with a more favorable environment,” he says. “This can be made possible only through reforms of the present conditions, thus ensuring the rule of law and sound management in line with top EU standards. We are all aware by now that the road to the EU requires the elimination of any setbacks present in BiH. Key factors to the BiH image improvement would be the security of investments, as well as institutional and political stability.”

    When it comes to exports, Dr Kurtic believes that only leading companies are currently in a position to export their products.

    “In terms of investment in this country, the situation in BiH has much improved via new technologies, best practices, innovations, research and development investments, new jobs and the creation of market opportunities that foreign companies have brought and will continue to bring to our country. One of key conclusions of the third forum is that the Republic of Austria, as the largest investor in BiH, needs to remain committed to further improving economic and political cooperation with BiH.”

    Dr Kurtic also believes that the positive effects of the forum regarding the generation of new investments in BiH reflect in, among other things, the fact that the formal program of this year’s forum included participants from one of the most developed EU countries – the Republic of Austria.

    “At the third economic forum in BiH, Austria has re-confirmed its strong commitment to cooperation with BiH. This refers to both the official state level and individual investors. Austrian investments in BiH show a constant increase, as attested by the fact that there are approximately 200 Austrian companies in BiH employing over 7,000 people.”

  • Banking in Bosnia – without the ups and downs

    By Ivona Zametica, Raiffeisen Bank Bosnia and Herzegovina and Gunter Deuber, RBI The entire banking system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (with assets in the range of EUR 15-16 billion) roughly corresponds to the balance sheet of a mid-sized regional lender or larger savings/cooperative bank in a Western market like Austria, Germany or Italy. Therefore, the […]

  • Economic and cultural facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina at a glance

    In August, the Discover CEE spotlight is on Bosnia and Herzegovina! Watch out for several blog posts on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s business, culture and success stories. Today, we have the most interesting economic data and cultural facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina at a glance for you. The fact sheet is also downloadable in print version. […]

  • CEE Banking Sector Report 2019

    RBI’s analysts documented and analyzed banking sector trends as well as the key drivers and indicators in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The analysts are posted throughout the CEE region as well as in Vienna and provided their local expertise and insights to create the latest version of the Raiffeisen Research’s CEE Banking Sector Report. […]

  • The Carpathians: A personal guide to the magic mountains

    By Dmytro Sologub, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine | Central banking is a tough job. It requires making policy decisions in an uncertain environment under pressure from the various groups of interests. Hence, I’m often asked both in my public and private interactions: How do you relax from your challenging office work? […]