The companies, organisations, agencies and local governments below have all been chosen as nominees for the Emerging Europe Awards.
Apart from the National Investment Promotion Agency of the Year category, in which all the regional IPAs have been included, all nominees have been selected because of their excellence and impact on the local or national scene.
Foreign direct investment has been the fuel powering the engine of growth in the CEE region over the last few years. While it’s essential that businesses nurture their own capital and that regional companies expand across the goal, FDI remains an integral part of the economies of emerging Europe. But smarter and more sustainable development is now key. Foreign investors can no longer see the region simply as a source of cheap labour or an easy market for their products – they need to plan their investments in order to give to the community in which they are developing.
This category assesses recent investment projects which have had a real, positive impact on the country or local area in which they have been implemented or completed.
If emerging Europe is to truly reach its full potential, the region needs strong companies which are not only preeminent in their local markets but are also strong on the international scene, sell- ing or distributing to markets across the world. One of the upsides of globalisation is that when a company has a good product or service, with the ambition and resourcefulness to back it up, the world is literally its oyster.
This category recognises and rewards companies for whom open borders are invitations to succeed.
It’s no longer enough for emerging Europe economies and businesses to copy the methods and ideas of others in their efforts to catch up with their western counterparts. They need to come up with ideas for themselves.
The importance of R&D in the future economic landscape of the region cannot be overstated, which is why we are highlighting programmes which stand out from the crowd and are helping to raise the region to a higher level of enterprise.
Years of neglect and under-investment across the region during communist times and the lack of resources to renovate them since have left many projects and locations in desperate need of restoration. Yet things have been changing in recent years, led by ambitious municipalities and resourceful developers, resulting in fantastic projects of renewal. We want to bring these projects to the attention of a wider audience, thereby providing inspiration to others to do the same.
It’s crucial for cities to attract FDI investment, thereby creating jobs for their inhabitants, improving prospects for their young people, and raising the living standards of the en- tire city. Competition between cities is intense, both in their own countries and on an international level, so their strategies for achieving maximum investment need to be well-crafted and specific to their strengths and opportunities.
This category assesses the creativity, effectiveness and success of those strategies.
It is the golden age of start-ups, and in this eld, while their more established counterparts in the west got a headstart, newcomers in central and eastern Europe have been gaining ground rapidly. Technology does not respect national borders, so a start-up in Ukraine or Serbia can now expect to find buyers and investors anywhere on the globe. The future is bright for emerging Europe in this field: most start-ups are geared towards making money, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But this category looks for enterprises which make bettering society and working for the common good their main objectives.
If central and eastern Europe is to reach its full potential, the ground must be level for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religious belief or sexual orientation. We all have something to learn from people with different cultures and alternative viewpoints. Inclusiveness leads to more ideas and initiatives across a wider audience and is beneficial to both the workplace and the community. In this regard, the region still has some way to go, which is why we are shining a light on projects which teach tolerance and open-mindedness.
The emerging Europe region has a culture that is rich and diverse, with a history no less exciting — you could travel for years without seeing even a fraction of what there is to be seen. In such a competitive climate, tourism campaigns have to stand out and grab one’s attention. They have to break out of the shadow created by top European destinations such as Paris and Rome. The emerging Europe region offers attractions off the beaten track – there’s a lot to discover that’s unconventional and unique. We’re looking for campaigns that capture this spirit, and that get the message out in many languages and through different platforms.
The emerging Europe region’s richest resource is its young people. Well-educated and with a wealth of knowledge they are eager to share, and you would be hard-pressed to find any other area on the globe where the upcoming generations are so talented, motivated, creative and ambitious. They are hungry for the ability to compete with global markets but sometimes they need support, and this category recognises initiatives which help to give youth a voice and a platform from which they can be seen and heard. We’re looking for initiatives that help shape the leaders, creators and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
It’s the all-important job of the IPAs to help attract investors to their respective countries and to make sure that these investors get all the knowledge and information they need to make an informed decision. In essence, they must be a welcoming and resourceful one-stop-shop.
Emerging Europe specialists are undertaking a comprehensive analysis of each of the IPAs, assess- ing their communications channels to see how they present their country to international investors, analysing enquiries made to the individual IPAs, and garnering feedback from recent investors. From this study, a full report will be published which will present the strengths and weaknesses of these crucial agencies across the region.