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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.

Join Jovan on an odyssey through Balkan food culture

Regional info/economy Posted on Tue, December 06, 2016 13:47:32

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romania Posted on Mon, February 29, 2016 10:39:25

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

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

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

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

Moldova Posted on Wed, November 18, 2015 09:16:08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the music from the sea.

Croatia Posted on Mon, November 16, 2015 08:56:25

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

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

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

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

Three potential buyers bid for Bulgaria´s Vivacom

Bulgaria Posted on Sun, November 15, 2015 13:51:51

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bulgaria Posted on Wed, October 21, 2015 10:15:52

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

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

A Regional SEE IT Conference to be held in Sarajevo 21-22 May

Events and Seminars Posted on Mon, May 11, 2015 10:17:35

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

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

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

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

The Draft Agenda to this free
event, as well as other relevant information, is available on For more opportunities for B2B
meetings, please register at

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

Moldova Posted on Sat, May 02, 2015 16:00:36

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

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

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

Swedish event: Doing Business in the Western Balkans

Events and Seminars Posted on Thu, April 30, 2015 12:26:00

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

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

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

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

Serbia and Sweden sign agreement on development cooperation

Serbia Posted on Thu, April 30, 2015 11:41:09

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

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

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

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

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

TetraPak opens new warehouse in Serbia

Serbia Posted on Fri, April 10, 2015 11:21:09

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

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

Telenor bank has already 50.000 mobile bank accounts in Serbia

Serbia Posted on Fri, April 10, 2015 08:55:00

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

Find Fundings for the Real Economy in Bucharest

Events and Seminars Posted on Wed, March 25, 2015 18:16:40

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

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

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

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

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

Seminarium om investeringar och aktuella affärsmöjligheter i Centraleuropa

Events and Seminars Posted on Sun, March 22, 2015 16:06:14

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

Group of EU investors takes control over Bulgaria´s Vivacom

Bulgaria Posted on Fri, March 20, 2015 13:03:56

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

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

Croatia Posted on Fri, March 20, 2015 11:36:57

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

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

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

Get your franchising organized in Croatia

Croatia Posted on Wed, March 04, 2015 20:59:35

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

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

Upplev det senaste av textil och mode från Sydosteuropa – i Borås

Events and Seminars Posted on Mon, March 02, 2015 16:11:36

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

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

Se hela programmet härAnmäl dig till eventet här.

Plats: Marketplace Borås Arena, Textile Fashion Center,
Skaraborgsvägen 3A, Borås
Tid: Kl 13.00 – 17.00 tisdag den 10 mars.

Deltagandet är helt kostnadsfritt. Lätt förtäring kommer att
Mycket välkomna!

Not just a pretty place….

Montenegro Posted on Sat, February 28, 2015 12:16:52

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

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

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

Albania launches tender for 2500-2690 MHz spectrum

Albania Posted on Fri, February 27, 2015 14:14:29

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

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

Russia and USA are battling in Serbia. Over Telekom

Serbia Posted on Thu, February 26, 2015 16:51:17

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

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

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

Serbia Posted on Mon, February 16, 2015 11:10:47

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

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

PM Vucic: “I told my people that you have to work harder to get it better”.

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

Finance minister Vujovic: Operating on his “own family”.

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

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

Photos by Göran Uvner ©

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

Serbia grateful to Sweden for continuous support

Serbia Posted on Wed, February 04, 2015 13:01:10

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

Croatian Ambassador says they have a lot to learn from Swedish elderly care

Croatia Posted on Mon, February 02, 2015 21:33:02

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

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

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

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

Albania launches tender for 4G frequencies

Albania Posted on Tue, January 27, 2015 14:34:22

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

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

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

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

Scandinavian Designers Discover Bosnian Handicraft in Stockholm 2-6 February

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Tue, January 13, 2015 13:03:50

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

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

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

Sofia Metro goes underground in Stockholm

Bulgaria Posted on Fri, December 26, 2014 21:23:31

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

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

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

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

Pictures below:
1. Dr Bratoev (left) in one of the Stockholm metro traffic control centers at Gullmarsplan station.

2. Dr Bratoev discussing platform screen doors with MTR area director Dag Lokrantz-Berentz at Åkeshov metro station.
Photos by Göran Uvner

100 kr i rabatt på årets outsourcing event till Handelskammarens medlemmar

Outsourcing Posted on Sat, November 22, 2014 22:23:54

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

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

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

Du kan se ett kort videoreportage från förra årets seminarium här. Väl mött på årets Outsourcing event Outsource2EU 2014 på fredag.
Bilden: Invigningstalaren på Outsource eventet, Hamdija Jusufagic, CEO för System Verification AB och utnämnd till Årets Företagare i Sverige 2013.

Telekom Srbija to be partially or fully privatised following new IMF deal

Serbia Posted on Sun, November 09, 2014 13:18:09

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

Bulgaria is now the most preferred outsourcing destination in Europe

Bulgaria Posted on Thu, October 02, 2014 21:05:44

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

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

The index takes into account 39 criteria in three categories – financial attractiveness, business environment and human resources. The chart below shows the first 20 countries in the A.T. Kearney report.

Telenor takes Mobile Banking to Serbia – Opens Telenor Banka

Serbia Posted on Sun, September 14, 2014 11:45:35

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

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

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

Romania Posted on Mon, August 25, 2014 17:39:33

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

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

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

Welcome to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Croatia

Events and Seminars Posted on Sat, July 26, 2014 12:31:45

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

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

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

Examine the best in terms of formal curriculum as well as more popular
experiential education programs for startups with focus on critical thinking
and problem solving skills

Recognize best examples of startup programs around the globe

Promote global sharing of innovative practices in empowering more citizens to
start thinking like entrepreneurs

Provide Global-wide networking opportunities for participants

2014 GEC2 is a joint effort by the GEW – an initiative of the Kauffman Foundation,
GEW Host Croatia, the Split City Government, Dubrovnik – Neretva County,
University MINERVA and the Croatia Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts.
Please visit the Congress website A preliminary programme can be downloaded 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.

Have a glass of “Royal Romania”

Romania Posted on Sun, March 23, 2014 21:08:16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet Bosnian fruit and vegetables exporters in Gothenburg

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Sun, March 23, 2014 13:51:32

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

Welcome to a World of Bioenergy – in Sweden

Events and Seminars Posted on Mon, March 10, 2014 12:12:54

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


System Verification donated computers to a Bosnian school

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Sun, March 09, 2014 20:30:33

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

Economic growth expected in the Balkans

Regional info/economy Posted on Thu, February 27, 2014 10:30:52

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

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

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

Macedonia Posted on Tue, February 25, 2014 21:19:55

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

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.

Romania rockets to the top of CEE’s thrusting recovery

Romania Posted on Tue, February 25, 2014 17:06:45

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

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

Stockholm – Bucharest now nonstop

Romania Posted on Tue, February 25, 2014 16:56:28

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

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

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

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

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.

Outsourcing Success

Outsourcing Posted on Sun, November 24, 2013 23:17:20

”A great success. You must do this again! A really cool
These were just some of the positive remarks that were heard during the
IT/Media event Outsourcing to Europe in Stockholm/Kista last week. And there is
no doubt that many participants returned home with a lot of new contacts as
well as interesting experiences in their luggage.

We heard impressing presentations by IT specialists from
practically every country and corner of Southeast Europe and listened to
Swedish IT managers praising the competence and the enthusiasm of the top
talents they have teamed up with in the region.

According to one of the speakers, Kristofer von Beetzen, vice
president of Verisec AB, a Swedish IT security company that provides
innovative security solutions for banking, government and businesses worldwide, they have a lot to thank their Serbian partner for, who came up with critical
solutions for their UK municipality customers in a very short time.

The organizers, Event manager Danijela Hagblom and CEO of
SEEBA Adnan Berberovic (pictured below at
the event) had all reasons to be pleased with the outcome of this, the largest
outsourcing event ever in Sweden, and I beleive the odds are pretty good that
this was only the first in a continuous series of similar events in the future.
More pictures can be seen in the
outsource2eu facebook site
and this video clip of the closing remark by Mr Andrija Bednarik, CEO of the Serbian Business Angels Network.

In the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe we are
extremely proud to have been supporting SEEBA for this event from the very
If you, who are reading this, also are involved in business or cultural exchange between Sweden and Southeast
Europe, then you are very welcome to join
our webforum. Just click here and on the JOIN button or send us an email to

Why Gulf airline Etihad is investing in the Balkans

Regional info/economy Posted on Sat, November 16, 2013 22:23:38

“The Balkans as a crossroads of the world has huge opportunity. The tourism business opportunity of the region is considerable – and we’re going to be very well positioned to take advantage of that,” was the comment by James Hogan, chief executive of Abu Dahbi-based Etihad Airlines, after the take over of 49 % and the managing responsibility of JAT, later renamed Air Serbia.
The Gulf Airline investment came as a surprise to many and asked about how the airline became involved, First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic´ only comment was “Sheikh Mohammed is my friend and I asked him to help”. Read more in this BBC report.

The SEE Region – A Gem for Outsourcing

Outsourcing Posted on Wed, November 13, 2013 20:52:20

The SEE region has become an incredibly successful outsourcing destination given the fact that it offers lower costs and yet quality of service unparalleled by any of the other countries (India, The Philippines, China etc.) known as outsourcing hubs. Another thing is the qualified workforce that has both the IT skills and the language proficiencies needed for delivering an exceptional service with superior quality. Many countries in CEE have already established themselves as quite mature markets for the outsourcing industry.
The economy of the region would definitely benefit, if the governments focused on outsourcing as a development strategy and make it a priority for their cabinets. The many different types of outsourcing are widely applicable in the countries from the SEE region, making the region a best-shore and near-shore location for potential foreign investors.
Read the full article by Andrey Petrov of Hewlett Packard, Bulgaria here.

And don´t forget to register at the big SEE Outsourcing event in Stockholm on November 21. Do it HERE – and do it NOW!

Congratulations to Hamdija Jusufagic, Swedish Entrepreneur of the Year 2013

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Mon, October 14, 2013 16:49:49

Hamdija Jusufagic, founder and CEO of the Swedish Quality
Assurance (QA) company, System Verification AB, has been awarded the
prestigeous prize, Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. In their motivation, the
organiser, Företagarna (The Swedish Enterprise Association), says: ”Hamdija
Jusufagic is an entrepreneur who has built up an enterprise with a strong focus
on knowledge and development. He identified early the market needs and developed his business continuously, resulting in a stable growth. His
inclusive leadership style has contributed to the fact that System Verification
today has become the largest QA company in Sweden”
. Företagarna continue to praise the award winner for running a company built upon cultural diversity, now with 18 nationalities among the employees.
Hamdija Jusufagic was born in Sweden although he has his roots in Bosnia Herzegovina.
This year he has begun his company´s expansion abroad by starting a subsidiary
in Sarajevo.
System Verification is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast
In the picture below Hamdija Jusufagic
can be seen second right. Left Annie Lööf, Swedish Minister of

System Verification´s
subsidiary in Sarajevo inaugurated

As we have reported here in our news earlier, System
Verification established it´s subsidiary in Sarajevo this year. The
inauguration took place on Sept 19th in the presence of the Swedish Ambassador, HE Mr Fredrik Schiller, pictured below top
left together with Hamdija Jusufagic. Seen bottom left, together with two lovely
ladies, is a happy Edhem Gigovic, Managing Director of System Verification BH
d.o.o. in Sarajevo.

Why more businesses are nearshoring to Eastern Europe

Outsourcing Posted on Wed, October 09, 2013 10:41:54

High skilled labour, Cultural similarities, Time zones, Data protection and Growing labour market are five main reasons why your IT company should consider outsourcing to Eastern Europe, says Danijela Hagblom, project manager for the outsourcing event to be held in Stockholm/Kista on November 21st. Called Outsource2Europe, it will be the first major outsourcing event ever in Scandinavia covering a whole European region, Southeast Europe.
Go to for more information and to register.
And if you are still not convinced why you should attend this state of the art event, then look up these articles in Computer Sweden and Computer Weekly and read why companies in Sweden and elsewhere are outsourcing their IT projects to Eastern Europe.

Time to register for the IT/Media event “Outsource2Europe” in Stockholm

Events and Seminars Posted on Sat, September 28, 2013 23:35:07

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 in November, inviting IT/Media 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 today!

Balkan Bikers

Events and Seminars Posted on Sun, July 28, 2013 17:30:25

They call
themselves ”Restless Bikers”
and biked across the United States in 5 monthes last year. So biking down from
Split in Croatia to Athens in one month should be a piece of cake for these
tough Swedish guys.
They will fly to Split this coming Tuesday the 30th of July and say in their
website that they still have no idea what route to take, so anyone who has a
good idea about biking routes in the Balkans is welcome to send a message on
facebook or drop an e-mail to And you can follow
the guys on their website and blog here.

Restless Bikers are
sponsored by the Swedish IT Companies PDB,
GripGrab, Bluey Australia, Sportson
and now also with a big
cheer by the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden – Southeast Europe.

Scandinavians pumping business to Serbia

Serbia Posted on Mon, July 08, 2013 23:33:30

Together with 500 customers, business partners and employees, the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic took part in the celebrations at the inauguration of the newly-built factory in Indjija north-west of Belgrade. Along with the factories in Russia and Hungary, the factory will be delivering pumps to the Central and Eastern European market, where there is a growing demand for Grundfos pumps.
Since the spring of 2011, the Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos has been producing circulator pumps in rented buildings. In addition to several types of circulator pumps, the new factory will also produce the Sololift2 lifting station, which makes it easier for house-owners to handle wastewater from the bathroom or kitchen. Read more here.

Glad Midsommar!

Information from the Board Posted on Fri, June 21, 2013 09:08:38

This is what we say to each other today in Sweden. Before we start partying and let our wits and all the Swedish correctness go up in smoke and celebrate that it’s the longest day up here in the cold North ( which by definition means that the days hereafter are getting shorter and we are quickly heading towards the cold and dark winter 🙁

We raise maypoles all over the country and dance the frog dance and other exotic tribe dances, which make the tourists raise an eyebrow or two. So here´s a tutorial to all of you who will be living through a swedish Midsummer for the first time and to the rest of you who just missed it – so you’ll know what you just missed.

Glad Midsommar wherever you are!

Moldova – much more than great wine. They take care of your IT-projects as well

Moldova Posted on Fri, June 07, 2013 13:28:52

Moldova, between Romania and Ukraine, is perhaps
not the first country you come to think of when you plan your IT outsourcing. If
you ever been to Moldova, then it´s a good chance that you zipped more
of the excellent Moldovan wine than talked to an IT expert. If so you may even have been down to one of
the largest wine cellars in the world, Cricova, with 120 km wine packed underground roads. Well worth a trip
in its own right.

But forget
the wine for a while, because Moldova is now on a marketing campaign to tell
Europe about it´s competence and competiveness to take on IT development from
the West. And a few days ago the Moldovan group, headed by, the deputy ICT
minister, Ms Scola (photo), visited Stockholm where she presented facts and
about Moldova´s IT industry as well as introduced a few IT companies
ready to grab in to Swedish IT projects.

should be no doubts that Moldova will give their competitors in the
region a fight about the IT outsourcing projects from the west, offering among the lowest cost/hour
for highly educated IT professionals. Representatives
from Moldovan companies, like DAAC Systems (who already works for Dell and several other western companies) and QSystems on line Solutions were joined by the CEO of Lexicon IT Konsult, Markus Närenbäck, who talked about the Swedish IT
market, and an enthusiastic app-specialist from Apple, who gave an insight into the growing
importance of apps in businesses.
All in all,
a very interesting and informative show by the Moldovan IT industry.

Click here for some facts and figures about Moldova´s IT competitiveness and here for more pictures from the event.

Will Croatia win the wine war with EU?

Croatia Posted on Wed, June 05, 2013 16:44:00

In Sweden we had our fight with EU about our snus (snuff). And won. Now a wine war with EU
awaits Croatia. Well, it´s not exactly the same as the Swedish though. In Sweden we faught EU
about whether we would be allowed to “snusa” (use the snuff) or not. It was a
national issue going over all political blocks and it could have kept us out of EU if we lost. And the Union knew that….
The Croatian wine
war is more a fight about using a brand, the name Prosek on their excellent
sweet desert wine. It´s too close for comfort for the Italian producer of the
sparkling wine Prosecco.
And, it’s not just Prosek that’s in trouble of disappearing. EU member Slovenia claims Croatia has no
right to market Teran, a red wine made in the northern tip of the Adriatic, shared
by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

Croatia should have done like Sweden. Put it on the negotiation
table during the very first meetings. I would like to see an EU negotiation team that would have dared to lose out
another EU member for a bottle of wine. But maybe it´s not just too late. Come on guys – give the Slovenians and
Italians a fight. And the Union. We´re right behind you. We love your Prosek. On the first of July we´ll salute you with a glass.
Read more about the Croatian wine war here.

Are you a Swede doing business with the Balkans area or somebody in that area doing business with Sweden, then you should visit our business group at Linkedin here.

PM Berisha says Albania is to become the region´s leader in information technology

Albania Posted on Wed, June 05, 2013 10:19:46

Albania’s Council of Ministers approved the National Plan for the Development of Broadband. Albania’s Prime Minister Sali Berisha, who singled out the decision as one of the most important agenda, said that Albania’s progress in the digital area is today one of the most tangible reality. The Prime Minister explained that this plan has two major goals, one of which is Albania to be a leader in the region, for information technology.
“This plan, said the prime minister , makes possible the extension of the use of internet in every cell of the Albanian society, public institutions, private whatever they are. This plan makes it possible for Albanian citizens to get online with higher quality, greater speed, more wide-ranging. ” Read more in the news from

Swedish IT company opens subsidiary in Sarajevo

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 08:56:02

System Verification AB, the largest independent quality
assurance company in Sweden, has opened a subsidiary in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina.
The aim is to offer the same service quality as today in Sweden, although at a
lower price.

System Verification has today offices in Malmö, Gothenburg,
Stockholm and Copenhagen. So why Sarajevo this time? ”The choice of Sarajevo is
a combination of good access to very high IT competence at a comparatively low
cost”, says Hamdija Jusufagic (pictured below), CEO of System Verification. ”But there is
another reason also, namely the fact that my parents came to Sweden from Bosnia
Herzegovina and this is a way for me to give something back to their country by
creating jobs here.”

The base for the company´s establishment in Sarajevo is a
cooperation with Alfa Laval, who since many years have outsourced their testing
activities to System Verification at a value of 45 MSEK over three years. A
part of these activities will now be carried out in Sarajevo.

System Verification will only employ own staff in Sarajevo.
Edhem Gigovic, a Bosnian himself by birth, who has worked as test manager in
the Swedish head office for five years, will move to Sarajevo to become the
head of the new office. Four more employees are already on board.

”Our ambition is to offer more customers the same
opportunity, which means that we plan to expand our operation with more
employees. But we will only use own staff, that is a quality assurance for our
customers”, says Hamdija Jusufagic.

The address to the new Sarajevo office is Trg. Solidarnosti
2, 71000 Sarajevo.
System Verification is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe.
pressrelease in Swedish can be downloaded here.

Croatian bees clear the minefields

Croatia Posted on Mon, May 20, 2013 08:35:35

What a great invention the researchers at Zagreb University have come up with. They have trained bees to find mines by teaching them to go for TNT.
Nikola Kezic, an expert on the behavior of honeybees, sat quietly together with a group of young researchers on a recent day in a large net tent filled with the buzzing insects on a grass field lined with acacia trees. The professor at Zagreb University outlined the idea for the experiment: Bees have a perfect sense of smell that can quickly detect the scent of the explosives. They are being trained to identify their food with the scent of TNT.
“Our basic conclusion is that the bees can clearly detect this target, and we are very satisfied,” said Kezic, who leads a part of a larger multimillion-euro program, called “Tiramisu,” sponsored by the EU to detect land mines on the continent. Read more here.

BIC2013 – Uncovering Business Opportunities in the Western Balkans

Events and Seminars Posted on Thu, May 16, 2013 21:06:01

IRN global summit organiser is hosting the first Balkans Infrastructure & Construction Summit at the exclusive Radisson Blu Style Hotel, Vienna on May 29th – 30th.
The Balkans region is an area of untapped business opportunities; the prospects in this market are endless, ranging from transportation, utilities and urban development projects that require further financing and will ensure a fast return on investment. The BIC 2013 Summit will address the most pressing questions around tendering, infrastructure delays, legal frameworks and transparency issues for fair competition. This senior level meeting will bring together Ministries of the Western Balkans countries as well as business leaders and international investors looking to tap into this market.

Gothenburg the new Gateway to Balkan

Regional info/economy Posted on Thu, May 16, 2013 20:35:07

Gothenburg City Airport is about to start direct flights to Balkan. From end of May Wizz Air will fly you to Skopje, Macedonia, and from mid June to Tuzla in Bosnia. Since April there has been a connection with Zadar in Croatia. Annika Nyberg, the airport´s CEO says that the reasons for opening up these connections are all the requests they have received from people from ex-Yugoslavia who want to be able to fly down to their friends and relatives without having to first go to Stockholm or Malmö (source: Gothenburg local radio station).

Sweden´s renewable majority

Energy & Environment Posted on Wed, May 15, 2013 21:29:21

We are already there. The majority of Sweden’s energy now comes from renewable sources. 51 % to be more exact, which means that Sweden has surpassed both the EU’s target of 49% by 2020 and the Swedish parliament adopted target of 50 percent in 2020.This success can be traced back to the establishment of the official Official Oil Commission which was charged with reducing Sweden’s dependence on oil.
Listen here to Mr Gustav Melin, CEO of the Swedish Bioenergy Association, tell more about this great achievment. Mr Melin is interviewed by Mr Kaj Embrén, who has been involved with issues regarding Sustainable Development for more than 30 years.

Swedish medtech company enters Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Sat, May 11, 2013 10:28:55

Bactiguard has signed an exclusivity agreement with Proma doo Sarajevo, one of the strongest established medical suppliers in Bosnia, already representing one of the world market leaders in Health equipment, Swedish Getinge group. Proma will sell Bactiguard´s complete portfolio for infection control, including urinary, intravenous and respiratory catheters.
“Bactiguard is very proud to be able to enter the Bosnian market. The spring of 2013 has been very successful for our portfolio with our unique solution for health care associated infections, HAI. Bactiguard is now present in over 25 countries. We hope we can reduce the number of HAI’s in the Bosnian Hospitals together with our new partner Proma doo Sarajevo” says Christian Kinch, CEO of Bactiguard. Read the full pressrelease here.

From isolation to EU membership

Croatia Posted on Sat, May 11, 2013 10:07:35

Vesna Pusic, Croatia’s foreign minister, is fond of pointing out that when Croatia joins the European Union on 1 July, 2013 the accession process will have taken 12 years and four months.
The EU that Croatia will join is not the same as the one it was at the beginning of the process. But Croatia, too, is a very different place from the one it was before. To follow Croatia´s road to EU until July 1st, log in to Croatia Direct on BBC´s website here.

Serbia is out of the recession – Now to the Reindustrialization

Serbia Posted on Fri, May 10, 2013 20:36:56

The Serbian economy has exited from recession for the first time in a year according to figures for the first quarter of 2013.
Serbia’s Finance Ministry said that industrial production grew by 5.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year, contributing to a moderate GDP growth of 1.9 per cent, according to the Statistical Office.
The ministry said that in order to achieve further recovery, an “Action Plan for the Reindustrialization of Serbia” will be adopted by the end of this month, “which will elaborate operational measures for stimulating the economy, exports and employment.” More key figures from bne here.

Balkan infrastructure under microscope

Events and Seminars Posted on Tue, April 30, 2013 14:32:34

Government ministers from several Balkan countries will be discussing infrastructure and construction in the region at a two-day summit in Vienna, Austria, on 29 and 30 May, 2013, at the Radisson Blu Style Hotel, Vienna. The Balkans Infrastructure & Construction 2013 Summit (BIC 2013) will be bringing together government bodies, ministers, institutions and foreign investors to discuss the opportunities, strategies and challenges around upcoming infrastructure projects. It claims to be one of the first summits looking into the infrastructure investment opportunities within the Balkan countries. Each of the Western Balkan countries will highlight the key transportation projects that are currently in need of tenders for finance, construction and feasibility studies.

The summit will include an update on the ZAIC Consortium regarding the expansion of Zagreb airport in Croatia. Financing, designing and construction will be discussed and further tender opportunities will be announced.

There will also be an update on the development of Corridor 5C running through mainland Bosnia, looking at the challenges and opportunities faced so far, and further tender opportunities with regards to construction.

The Summit will include a detailed update on Macedonia’s projects for Corridor 10 and Corridor 8, and there will be an open call for tender investment opportunities for construction companies and consultants for feasibility studies.

Albania’s four hydropower investment opportunities will be discussed, with an update on the tender opportunities within the four hydro power plants – two by the Northern Mat River and two by the Southern Bistrica River. Government bodies and state-owned producers will outline the profitability of the four hydro power plants and relationship between the potential buyers and state-owned producers.

The summit will assess the hydropower tender opportunities in Montenegro. Ministers and governments will discuss the future plans for advancing hydropower stations in Montenegro

There will also be discussion about the redevelopment works in Serbia’s municipalities, focusing on the tender opportunities for the construction of schools, buildings and healthcare projects in Serbia. (News from Construction Europe).
For more information about the BIC summit click here.

Norwegians take over from the Greeks in Bulgaria

Bulgaria Posted on Fri, April 26, 2013 21:10:45

Just minutes
agoTelenor announced that they have signed an agreement with Greek OTE to
acquire Bulgarian mobile operator Globul for a total amount of EUR 717 million
on a cash and debt free basis. Globul is the second largest mobile operator in
Bulgaria with 4.5 million subscribers and a market share of 36 percent. The
transaction also includes Germanos Bulgaria, the leading telecom retailer in
the country operationally integrated with Globul.

In Central and Eastern Europe, Telenor
Group is currently present in Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro. The company is a
leader in terms of mobile revenue share in Serbia and Montenegro. “Our entrance
into the Bulgarian market enhances the potential for cross-border co-operation
and increased efficiency that our customers, businesses and the Telenor Group
as a whole will benefit from. We also see a potential in expansion of mobile
data and internet-based services in the market,” said Kjell-Morten Johnsen,
Executive Vice-President and Head of region Europe.

Globul has been present in Bulgaria
since 2001. At the end of 2012, the company reported 4.5 million subscribers
and a 36 percent subscriber market share. In 2012, Globul and Germanos Bulgaria
generated revenues of EUR 378 million and EBITDA of EUR 135 million. The
transaction is subject to relevant merger control approvals and is expected to
be finalised in Q3 2013.No further comments will be given until the press and
analyst conference on Monday, 29 April 2013 at 0900 CET.

Telekom Srbija reports 50% drop in net profit in 2012

Serbia Posted on Fri, April 26, 2013 15:10:04

Telekom Srbija ended 2012 with a net profit of RSD 11.25 billion, down nearly 50 percent from a year earlier, primarily as a result of increased financial expenses, which jumped nearly four times to RSD 12.5 billion. The financial result is mainly a consequence of long-term liabilities, which increased from RSD 17.3 billion to RSD 46.7 billion, due to the raising of the loan for the purchase of its own shares conducted early last year. Revenue amounted to RSD 88.5 billion, up by 1.4 percent from 2011. Business revenues grew to RSD 19.8 billion. Telekom Srbija has yet to announce full consolidated financial statements. ( April 24)

Green energy and IT Health Care high on the agenda at Swedish state visit to Croatia

Croatia Posted on Wed, April 24, 2013 21:32:01

During the state visit by HM
the king of Sweden and representatives of the Swedish government and companies, cooperation in the field of energy efficiency was thoroughly discussed. Environmental minister Lena Ek said
in her speech that she wanted to challenge Croatia to utilize their great
potential from biomass, an area where Sweden have made big acheivments. She
also emphasized another important area of priority for both Sweden and Croatia,
namely the IT-based Health care sector.

The minister also mentioned the
excellent example of long term Swedish-Croatian business relations in Ericsson
Nikola Tesla
, celebrating its 60-years anniversary this year. She also
expressed Sweden´s satisfaction with Croatia´s EU entry later this year. You can
read minister Ek´s full speech here.

Länge sedan du fick en äkta Ćevapčići?

Regional info/economy Posted on Mon, April 22, 2013 09:29:44

Kanske var det på en trottoarservering i Belgrad. Kanske på
en krog i Stockholm, ägd av en gammal Jugoslav med generationer av
mattraditioner med sig i bagaget till Sverige.
Men nu kan du laga till en genuint äkta Ćevapčići själv. Och
många andra traditionella rätter från Balkan också för den delen. Recepten
hittar du i Jovan Radomirs härliga bok ”Mitt Balkan – Mat och Människor”, som är en
odyssé genom Balkansk matkultur.
Jovan själv verkar ha gjort en intressant odyssé. Född i f d
Jugoslavien, uppvuxen i Katrineholm och
nu anställd som journalist på Sveriges Television.
Mer om Jovan och boken hittar du här.
PS. Rakijan skall du nog inte försöka dig på att bränna
själv. Då har du också ytterligare en anledning till ett besök på Balkan.smiley

273 mill EURO for Cooperation

Regional info/economy Posted on Thu, April 11, 2013 13:17:02

The European Union has finalised a series of measures to promote regional cooperation between Western Balkan countries totalling 272.8 million euro for the period 2012-2013, the bloc’s executive said on Wednesday.
The funds will support cooperation with international financial institutions to mobilise funding, help develop civil society, support education schemes such as student mobility programmes, and help beneficiaries meet the requirements for EU membership and align their standards with the EU, the European Commission said in a statement. The funding earmarked comes under the 2012-2013 Multi-beneficiary and Cross-Border programmes of the EU’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
The total pre-accession funding for the period 2007-2013 stands at 11.5 billion euro. Source:

Business security on the agenda during Swedish state visit to Croatia

Croatia Posted on Wed, April 10, 2013 11:46:37

In conjunction with a Swedish state visit on April 16 to 18, 2013 in order to build relationships
and support future collaboration with the next member state of the European
Union, one of the discussions will be about business security. At least
this is what one of the participants, Andreas Linde, CEO of the Swedish company Business Security AB is
looking forward to.

“Croatia is a very
interesting market for Business Security,” says Andreas Linde. “Since we
recently received the highest EU approval certification for our secure
communication products, we are advancing our positioning as a cyber security
expert and technology provider in the EU. We look with great interest at
Croatia and its cyber security needs and are assessing scenarios where our
network security solutions might fit the local needs,” adds Linde.

The objective of the
visit, with honorary guests being H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and
Croatian President Ivo Josipović, is to provide an insight to the country
through arranged meetings with members from local government, banks,
organisations and corporations. A seminar will provide an opportunity to
discuss the possibility for Swedish corporations to establish local presence as
well as to help identify new opportunities in Croatia in the coming years, as
the country is getting ready to enter the European Union on July 1, 2013.
More information on Business Security´s webpage here.

Swedes waste no water in Bulgaria

Bulgaria Posted on Sun, March 31, 2013 14:08:31

Malmberg Water’s daughter company in Bulgaria has in consortium with the local construction company Hydrostroytelstvo signed the contract for construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in Bulgaria. The project, which has a total value of 25 million SEK, includes design, construction, supply and installation of equipment, putting into exploitation and training of personnel. Due to its unique compact design the plant will be one of the most modern and cost efficient in Bulgaria when completed.
The project is just one of many now financed under the European Union’s Operational Programme Environment, currently ongoing in Bulgaria, which aims to develop the country’s environmental infrastructure to comply with EC requirements. Read more here.

Svenskarnas nya semesterdestination

Serbia Posted on Thu, March 21, 2013 20:22:35

Resandet från Sverige till Serbien slog alla rekord förra året. Antalet besökare ökade med ca 23% och antalet övernattningar med ca 26%! Dessa positiva siffror har förstås sina förklaringar. Det är numera lätt och billigt att flyga till Serbien från både Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö och Köpenhamn. Man kan välja mellan tre olika flygbolag; JAT Airways, Wizz Air och Norwegian. Popularitet beror förstås också på, den för oss svenskar, angenäma prisnivån på hotell/boende, restauranger och nöjesliv. Dessutom har det skrivits positiva artiklar om Belgrad och Serbien i de flesta svenska resemagasin. Sådant får effekt! Enligt, så har Serbien nu också kommit in på listan över de tio mest populära resmålen för svenskar denna sommar!
Läs mer här om Serbiska kulturskatter, hälsoresor med spa, vin- och matresor samt musik- och ölfestivaler.

FundraiseIT & PartnerIT for free in Belgrade

Serbia Posted on Fri, March 08, 2013 11:01:30

Take the chance to meet your new business partners and potential clients among the companies from all around the Europe during dynamic two-day B2B matchmaking event FundraiseIT & PartnerIT 2013 to take place in Belgrade, Serbia, 18. – 19. April 2013.

During the conference participants will be involved in the direct communication channel with competent well-known serial entrepreneurs and investors from Silicon Valley and Europe. In the live discussions panels among successful entrepreneurs and investors participants will be able to hear some interesting personal stories, information about various investing models, fundraising methods, success stories, experiences and valuable tips. Last year this two day event attracted 223 participants from 24 countries.

Learn about possibilities for fundraising and investments in IT projects from well-known serial entrepreneurs and investors, while expanding your international network at FudraiseIT conference. Explore new ideas, develop your knowledge and find new business opportunities. For more information and registration visit and free tickets please contact Mr. Andrija Bednarik

Swedfund mer än dubblar maxbeloppet för sitt etableringsstöd Swedpartnership

Regional info/economy Posted on Mon, February 18, 2013 10:36:36

Från Swedfund har vi precis fått veta att man avsevärt höjt maxbeloppet för stöd till små och medelstora svenska företag som vill etablera sig eller starta nya samarbeten i utvecklingsländer i Afrika, Asien, Latinamerika och Östeuropa.
Det maximala beloppet för stödbeloppet, som går under betckningen Swedpartnership, har höjts från 750 000 till 1,7 miljoner kronor. Samtidigt har värdet av förberedelsetid höjts från 400 kr/tim till 475 kr/tim och instruktörstid från 800 kr/tim till 950 kr/tim.
Fortfarande gäller att stödet högst kan uppgå till 40% av de totala beräknade kostnaderna för projektet. Stödet ges i form av ett lån som skrivs av efter ett genomfört och godkänt projekt.
Klicka här för att läsa mer om Swedpartnership samt instruktioner om hur man ansöker. OBS att beloppen ännu i skrivande stund ej har ändrats på Swedfunds hemsida.

Chisinau aim to attract international investors at Investment Forum in March

Moldova Posted on Sun, February 17, 2013 11:57:58

An international Investment Forum “Invest in Moldova” will take place in Chisinau, the Republic of Moldova in the period of 5-6 March 2013. The event is organized by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova, Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organization (MIEPO), World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), International Financial Corporation (IFC), part of World Bank Group and Energy Efficiency Agency of the Republic of Moldova.
The event program is focused on plenary sessions and panel discussions on the following topics: Moldovan investment climate characteristics, privatization and public-private partnerships, Moldovan investment projects, investment opportunities in Moldovan agribusiness sector, investments in Moldovan energy efficiency field, etc. Likewise, several visits are planned to be organized at Moldovan free economic zones, industrial parks, Moldovan companies that are interested to attract investments in special projects implementation, Moldovan enterprises that are announced for privatization, etc.
Invitation letter can be found here and more information about the event here.

Raiffeisen awarded Bank of the Year in CEE

Regional info/economy Posted on Tue, December 18, 2012 11:18:26

The Banker, the renowned special interest magazine of the Financial Times, awarded the Austrian bank Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) as “Bank of the Year” in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and in five individual countries (Austria, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Romania). The awards were presented at a ceremony in London at the end of November.
According to the Banker´s statement, Raiffeisen notched up a great performance in this year’s awards, scooping prizes in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania as well as its home market of Austria. Raiffeisen Bank International posted the highest profit before tax of any Austrian bank and is naturally proud of its record of being in profit every quarter since its initial public offering back in 2005.

Swedish Business School starts operation in Serbia

Serbia Posted on Sun, December 16, 2012 15:27:49

Mercuri International is starting business in Serbia in January 2013. The Serbian team will mainly deliver services in Sales Management and Powerful Sales Performance.
“We see a large potential in Serbia due to the country approaching the EU. Many multinational companies choose Serbia as the location for their headquarters and we are looking forwards to enable the Serbian business community to grow.” says Mr Ola Strömberg, CEO Mercuri International Group.
The office will be located in Belgrade and the managing director will be Milomir Ždrale. Previously Mr Ždrale has worked as a Sales Director for two international companies in Ukraine and Serbia before becoming a sales consultant. His expertise is in Sales Management and in the optimization of Sales Processes and Systems. More about Mercuri International here.

Bulgaria presents investment opportunities at London seminar

Bulgaria Posted on Sat, December 08, 2012 12:12:12

A number of companies voiced plans to invest in
Bulgaria after a forum held in London on the benefits of the country as an
investment destination.
Delyan Dobrev, Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism,
met with potential investors during the forum “Investing in Bulgaria – The
strategic business destination in Central and Eastern Europe”, according
to a media statement of the Ministry of Economy, energy, and Tourism (MIET).
The event was attended by representatives of over 120
companies in the sectors of outsourcing, IT, electronics
and electrotechnology, financial services, furniture, and textile. Several international companies already established in Bulgaria shared
their positive experience of the investment climate. Read more in the Novinite news here.

EBRD will help Romania access EU funds, advance structural reforms

Romania Posted on Sat, November 24, 2012 21:05:15

The EBRD and the Romanian government have signed a framework agreement to help Romania make good use of the funds allocated by the European Union for projects that aim to boost the country’s economic and social development.
The framework signed today in Bucharest paves the way for the EBRD to support sector reforms and help define operational priorities in the areas of energy efficiency, development of municipal services and projects, and support for attracting private resources and introducing alternative financing mechanisms for infrastructure.
The EBRD will specifically focus on energy efficiency in public and residential buildings, support for regional water and wastewater treatment companies, support for the preparation of district heating and urban transport strategies, among others. Read more here.

New €30 bill. financial action plan for growth in Central and South Eastern Europe

Regional info/economy Posted on Sat, November 24, 2012 20:51:58

European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group), the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – have agreed on a new Joint Action Plan, aimed at supporting economic recovery and growth in Central and South Eastern Europe.
The Action Plan, a direct response to the continuing impact of Eurozone problems on the economies of emerging Europe, includes more than €30 billion of joint commitments for the period 2013-2014. The new Joint International Financial Institution (IFI) Action Plan aims to rekindle growth in the region by supporting private and public sector initiatives, including infrastructure, corporate investment and the financial sector. Read more here.

Sunshine over Southeast

Regional info/economy Posted on Tue, November 20, 2012 20:23:57

According to a new Report of EPIA, Photovoltaic (PV) technology has shown an impressive resilience to harsh market conditions during 2011 and 2012, outperforming all growth forecasts. Moreover experts are identifying Southeast Europe as ‘remarkable new markets’ leading to a green building boom in the Region.

A country in the region that has one of the highest Photovoltaic growth potential in all of Europe, Romania, has been named one of the next target countries for the PV energy sectors. PV plants that will be connected to the national power system are estimated to produce as much power as the two reactors from the Cernavoda nuclear plant.

According to the statistics published by Transelectrica in Romania there are 51 companies that initiate projects for solar panels installation. The investment in these projects rises up to 500 million euro and the total installed capacity will be of 210,3 MW. In 2012 there will be in fully functional stage 14 such photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into electricity: 4 in Prahova, 2 in Dolj, Olt and Timis, one in
Braila, Botosani, Gorj and Dambovita. These installed solar panels will produce together 61 MW.

To support the development of the renewable energy market in Romania, the biggest energy trade fair of Romania, RENEXPO® SOUTH-EAST EUROPE, is organized this week in Bucharest.

Many conferences and trade fairs on this theme will follow in the region. One of the biggest you shouldn’t miss if you are in the PV trade is the SEE Solar – South-East European Solar PV & Thermal Exhibition, which will take place in Sofia Inter Expo Center 29-31 May 2013.

Want to be Hungarian? Buy some bonds

Hungary Posted on Tue, October 30, 2012 15:35:33

Recession continues uninterrupted in Hungary as GKI Economic Research Co. reports. Only stagnation can be expected next year. Domestic demand continues to fall. The agreement with the IMF and the EU is more and more unlikely to materialize and this makes the financing of Hungary more expensive and riskier. As a result, in 2013 the Hungarian economy continues to lag behind its regional competitors.

So here is the new somewhat unorthodox idea the Hungarian government is proposing to fight recession according to this news flash from Reuters today.
Proposed legislation listed on parliament’s website would grant permanent residency and ultimately Hungarian citizenship to outsiders who buy at least 250,000 euros worth of special government bonds.
The move, backed by the ruling government party, is designed to attract new investors, especially from China. The proposal could entitle the new bondowners, being Hungarian passport holders, to live and work throughout the European Union. Read the whole Reuters news here.

Mobile AppCamp in Skopje and Google Bootcamp in Sarajevo – The Balkans is drawing attention to the IT Developers

Events and Seminars Posted on Mon, October 29, 2012 13:38:28

Only a few days ago we posted the news about an upcoming event where mobile app developers are invited to join an App camp in Skopje and now we learn there is another IT event on a similar theme in a neigbouring city. It´s the Google Boot Camp in Sarajevo next weekend.
Google Bootcamp is held during the Start up weekend in Sarajevo and will teach developers about HTML5 technologies so that they can be more productive during the Startup Weekend. The one-day event which will take place on 3.11.2012. will be held at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology in Ilidža.
Google Bootcamp Sarajevo is aimed at programmers with any level of JavaScript experience. If you are a designer who has cut a little jQuery code, you are also very welcome. Read more here.

Raiffeisen awarded as Best Bank in CEE – again

Regional info/economy Posted on Fri, October 12, 2012 11:18:30

As in 2011, the British financial magazine Euromoney awarded the coveted title “Best Bank in Central and Eastern Europe” (CEE) to Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI).
The Euromoney-award is already the third decoration RBI received for its excellent service for private and corporate customers in CEE so far this year. In April, Global Finance magazine awarded the title “Best Bank in Central and Eastern Europe” to RBI for the eighth time. And in May, RBI received the prestigious title “Best Bank in CEE & CIS” from EMEA Finance for the third time.
Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) posted a consolidated profit (after tax and non-controlling interests) of € 701 million for the first six months of 2012, which represents an increase of 13.9 per cent compared to the first half of the preceding year (H1 2011: € 615 million).
“Considering the difficult economic environment in the Eurozone and the huge efforts we undertook to strengthen our capital ratio, we are pleased with our results. The fact that Central and Eastern Europe developed significantly better than the Eurozone makes me confident for the second half of 2012”, said CEO Herbert Stepic.

Serbia on Business Tour in Sweden

Serbia Posted on Sun, October 07, 2012 16:37:20

In recent years, Serbia has experienced increase in foreign direct investments and trade
flows with a significant number of multinational companies doing business or sourcing a
wide range of products from Serbian manufacturers.
To better inform Swedish companies about business environment and investment
incentives in Serbia, Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Stockholm, in cooperation
with Swedish cities and municipalities, is organizing a series of Business Panels
named “Investment and Trade Opportunities in Serbia” starting this autumn.
First two business panels will take place in Norrköping (19 November) and Gävle
(23 November), and the Embassy would like to invite all companies with an interest in
doing business with Serbia to take part in these events.
The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia will continue cooperation with other cities and
municipalities to inform the Swedish business community of Serbia’s investment and
trade potentials.
For more information and registration process please contact Ms. Milica Zatezalo

All about setting up a company in Serbia

Serbia Posted on Sat, September 22, 2012 20:14:42

In the process of joining the European Union, the Republic of Serbia implements changes to the laws and regulations that will significantly influence the business community. These changes are necessary for Serbian companies to meet the European standards and become competitive both on the European market and global market.
So anyone with plans to set up a company or subsidiary in serbia should take a look at this new document, which we just received from our colleagues in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia. Download it here.

You are also welcome to download the latest Business News from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia here.

Serbia open for Business

Serbia Posted on Sun, September 09, 2012 19:32:44

For the fifth year in a row Serbia Investment and
Export Promotion Agency SIEPA is organizing the Meet the Buyer event (November
13, 2012, BelExpo Center, Belgrade) to bring respectable and internationally
experienced suppliers together with international companies seeking for new
partners, products and best value at the minimum costs. This year the focus
will be on food and furniture industry and we are inviting companies from this
industry, both on buyer’s and suppliers’ side, to apply and register for the
event at

Swedish fashion chain enters Serbia and Croatia

Croatia Posted on Sun, September 09, 2012 19:20:02

The Lindex fashion
chain continues its international expansion and are now opening its first stores during September in both Belgrade and Zagreb. The fashion chain will
then have stores in 16 countries. Lindex’ business concept, to offer inspiring
and affordable fashions to fashion-conscious women, has shown to be successful
in many countries and the interest on the market is big.

The new store incorporates Lindex’
latest store concept where the interior design highlights the brand’s
Scandinavian heritage. Natural materials and the interaction of different
textures and patterns result in a welcoming store in a modern environment. With
this latest opening Lindex now has a presence in three Balkan countries, Bosnia-Herzegovina being the first one.

Bulgaria postpones plans for joining the Euro zone

Bulgaria Posted on Sun, September 09, 2012 18:38:23

For the moment Bulgaria puts off its plans
for joining the Euro zone due to the continuing financial crisis said Bulgarian
Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov, quoted by Wallstreet Journal. In his words
there is no gain in this country entering the Euro zone because “at this stage
it only means expenses”. The rules in the zone are changing all the time and
joining in would be highly risky. Besides the Bulgarians would like to know
whether the accession to the zone would not mean to salvage someone else from bankruptcy
, Minister Dyankov further added.

The internet segment – a potential for growth in the Balkan telecom market

Regional info/economy Posted on Sun, September 02, 2012 19:12:06

The attraction of the Balkan
telecommunications market is hidden by the fact that it is geographically near the
main European markets. At the same time, because of a combination of relatively
low penetration and still not high prices, it offers potential for growth.
These facts and many more insights into the regions Telecom market can be found
in a recently published PMR report titled Telecommunications market in
Balkan states 2012. Development forecast for 2012-2016.

The report states that a particular
potential lies within the internet segment since the penetration of the service
in the region remains at a low level. Within that segment an influx of new
users on the market in upcoming years will be a primary driver of growth. In
effect, the ISP will be the segment of the telecommunications market which will
be noting the most dynamic growth in the 2012-2016 time period.

Even with considerable regulatory,
legal and macroeconomic problems, the telecommunications market in the Balkan
states remain of interest for foreign investors.The process of the
privatisation of incumbent operators in the Balkan region is far from finished.

Members can download a brief version
of the report here.

Romanian companies looking for business partners and agents in Sweden

Romania Posted on Mon, August 27, 2012 11:59:33

Romania has
a long tradition of Handicraft and design products which are sold in many
countries. Some products have been marketed earlier in Scandinavia and now the Romanian
association for handicraft and production decided it was time to make a new
marketing drive to two of the countries, Sweden and Norway. Hence a dozen of Romanian
manufacturers went on a northbound trade mission a few days mid August. Apart
from meeting potential agents and retailers, the Romanian group also visited the
Formex fair in Stockholm to take a look at Swedish design products and make new
business acquaintances.
businessmen and –women from Romania were representing very different product
areas, such as wooden products, fashion dresses, sweets etc, all organized
within UECOM (Romanian Handicraft and Production Co-operatives). During one day
representatives of the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden – Southeast Europe had an
opportunity to enjoy an exclusive presentation of the Romanian companies and
their products at a meeting in the Romanian Embassy in Stockholm. In the picture
below H.E. Ms Răduţa Matache, Romanian Ambassador to Sweden is surrounded by
representatives of the business delegation and Swedish colleagues from our
Chamber of Commerce.

Here are links to the Romanian companies who are looking for business partners in Sweden and
Norway. Those interested to make contact are welcome to send an email to
Sweets and
Wood Processing,
furniture, wooden products:

Free Zone Pirot Among Best Zones Globally

Serbia Posted on Mon, August 20, 2012 22:00:10

According to the ranking done by Financial Times’ fDi Magazine, Free Zone Pirot is holding the 41st place on the list of world’s Top 50 free zones and is one of the most successful free zones in the world. More than 600 free zones across 120 countries were invited by fDi Magazine to complete a survey requesting both qualitative and quantitative data. The information collected was set under five categories: incentives, facilities, cost-effectiveness, transportation and best FDI promotion.
Free Zone Pirot CEO Dragan Kostic said that they were pleasantly surprised with fDi Magazine’s ranking, and that “Free Zone Pirot is modeled after the best free zones in the world. This is going to be our reference for all future investors and it also gives us an extra strength to keep going down the right path”, said Kostic. He added that Free Zone Pirot had exported €200 million worth of goods in 2011, reporting a turnover of €450 million. Another free zone from Serbia is well ranked – Free Zone Ecka ranks 48th

Serbian Embassy in Stockholm welcomes new Economic Counsellor

Serbia Posted on Mon, August 20, 2012 21:52:29

Milica Zatezalo has been appointed as Economic Counsellor for the Nordic Countries at the Embassy of Serbia in Stockholm starting April 2012. This appointment has been made in line with economic diplomacy principles of promoting Serbia as prime investment location while improving foreign market access for the Serbian products and services. She expressed her anticipation to take up this exciting and challenging position “While facilitating better economic cooperation between the countries in the form of greater presence of Nordic companies in the Serbian market and providing support to the Serbia companies for broader Nordic market penetration”.

Ms. Zatezalo joins the Serbia Economic Counsellors team of 28 members after nearly nine years of experience in public administration where she run a number of investment and export promotion projects and was responsible for the first Serbia participation in the largest worldwide exhibition EXPO 2010 Shanghai.

Macedonia beat China and India when Swedish company chose IT outsourcing partner

Macedonia Posted on Wed, August 15, 2012 14:22:25

iBuyWeSell, is the first company to
offer businesses and consumers a free service through which they can create,
publish, search and manage classified ads directly via mobile phone devices.
It´s free mobile app now reaches over 600,000 downloads – a success the
company´s founder and CEO Bob Ilievski
credits to his hardworking team of Macedonian contractors.

“It’s just
great”, Ilievski says in this exclusive interview. “The quality of work I’m
getting from my Macedonian team is just what our company needs to get things
running smoothly,” says Ilievski. iBuyWeSell, which had only recently
celebrated its 2nd anniversary, continues to grow and develop despite having
gone through some minor setbacks itself, particularly with previous efforts at
outsourcing to different contractors.

“At first
we worked with some private contractors from some other countries like India
and China, but we weren’t really that happy with the results,” said Ilievski.
“The problems with communication led to a weak relationship between us, which
in turn resulted in a rather poor quality of work,” he added.

iBuyWeSell benefits from having IT Specialist and Senior Project Manager Dragan
Velkov, as well as Innovation Expert and current eBusiness Manager Tanja
Velickovska – both from Macedonia – at the forefront of their operations.
“Working with Tanja and Dragan has been a smoother experience for the company,”
said Ilievski of his Macedonian team members, adding that “communication is
much more efficient, making project implementations much faster.”

Apart from
its diverse and professional team, iBuyWeSell owes its success largely due to
its main feature; mobile support through its free downloadable mobile app under
the same name. It´s giving sellers the assurance that posting on their website
will ensure them of more than half a million mobile users as potential buyers,
without even counting the massive ad exposure on their website which syncs ads to keep both mobile
and online users informed.

company’s relationship with its Macedonian contractors, as well as its other
employees, is definitely one of the foundations of our continued success,” says

In December
2010, the company was honoured with the ‘Simplest and Best Application’ Award
in the Samsung Global Developer Challenge.

(iBuyWeSell CEO Bob Ilievski pictured below)

Inbjudan till Slovensk-Svensk Affärskonferens i Stockholm

Slovenia Posted on Mon, October 31, 2011 00:08:15

Den 10 november träffas slovenska och svenska företag på affärskonferens i Stockholm. Konferensen är ett samarbete mellan Sloveniens Utrikesministerium och Myndigheten för Entreprenörskap och Utländska Investeringar i Republiken Slovenien tillsammans med representanter från Svensk Handel, Handelskammaren för Sverige-Sydosteuropa och Utrikesdepartementet.
Konferensen kommer att omfatta följande branscher: Mekanisk industri, Livsmedel, Läkemedel, Foderproduktion, Bevaknings- och Säkerhetsföretag, TV- och Filmproduktion, Handel, Flygteknik och Service.
Intresserade företag hittar inbjudan här samt mer om de deltagande slovenska företagen här.

Join in for a Match-making event between Swedish and Romanian ICT companies

Romania Posted on Sun, October 30, 2011 22:49:27

The Embassy of Romania and the Chambers of Commerce for Sweden-Southeast Europe are inviting Swedish companies in the ICT sector to a seminar with Romanian counterparts. The event will take place in the Romanian embassy in Stockholm on November 3rd.
15 Romanian companies specalised in outsourcing and software development will be in place at the event which will round off with matchmaking between the companies.
The programme can be downloaded here and the list of Romanian companies here.

New challenges for telecoms market in Central and Eastern Europe

Regional info/economy Posted on Sat, September 10, 2011 13:19:06

The telecommunications market in the CEE has become more mature. Telecoms are facing problems typical of saturated markets, which are lowering ARPU and higher expectations of consumers. Convergence and growing significance of data transmission services in mobile networks will continue to shape the market.
The total value of the telecommunications services market in the CEE region amounted to approx. €28.3bn in 2010, which represented an increase of 0.9% year on year. In 2004-2008, the telecommunications services market in the CEE witnessed a compound annual growth rate of 7.5%. The market grew relatively quickly, fuelled chiefly by the dynamic development of the Ukrainian and Romanian market. The worldwide economic crisis, together with the regulatory policy aimed at cutting mobile termination rates, negatively influenced the market value in 2009-2010.
To receive a free version of this article from PMR Publications, please follow the link below:

Happy Birthday Macedonia…

Macedonia Posted on Thu, September 08, 2011 07:05:08

…on your 20th anniversary of the indepence.

Who will win this Balkan Battle?

Events and Seminars Posted on Mon, June 20, 2011 09:47:14

This “battle” you can really enjoy. That is if you like loud brass music of course.
In that case, and if you happen to be in Stockholm, the music city of the world this days, with the Jazz festival going, get over to “Södra Teatern” (the Southern Theater) at Mosebacke square at 7 pm tonight, June 20. There you will see, but most of all hear, the world´s best bands of balkan brass. The Giants. The Balkan Beatles vs Rolling Stones, as one newspaper called the event.
So who will win? The band from Serbia led by the carismatic Boban Markovi and his son Marko, who made the soundtrack to Kusturica´s Arizona Dream and Underground. Or will it be the Romanian superstars, Fanfare Ciocarlia, who toured many turns around the globe with their music. Which band is the loudest, fastest, most brilliant of them?
Tonight we will know. In Stockholm.
More details about the venue here.

OTE plan to merge Romtelecom and Cosmote Romania

Romania Posted on Sat, June 11, 2011 10:25:30

OTE, the Greek telecommunication holding, made a proposition to the Romanian government to merge fixed-line telephony operator Romtelecom with Cosmote, according to a press release published by the Romanian Ministry of Communications and Information Society (MCSI). OTE also declined to buy the government’s 45.99% stake in Romtelecom because of the difficult economic situation in Greece and its financial strategy to reduce its exposure to debt. The group may reconsider buying the stake if circumstances change, however.
OTE believes that the merger of Romtelecom and Cosmote will create synergy on the market through offering tariffs that are more attractive to users and will generate better profit. Read the whole PMR article here.

BH Navigator – first mobile tourist guide of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Sat, June 04, 2011 15:10:59

BH Navigator is primarily intended for foreigners visiting Bosnia Hercegovina, but also for millions of BH diasporas who visit their home country every year. The first application is for Iphone phones, and now the rest of us wait eagerly to get it on our Android phones as well. Click here to get to the website.

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