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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.

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

Hungary Posted on Mon, January 20, 2014 17:24:16

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

On a fast track to China

Bulgaria Posted on Mon, January 20, 2014 16:51:20

We all know that China is
flirting intensively with the emerging countries in Africa and Eastern Europe, promising
investments and cheap loans. China has been wooing Romania for quite some
time and now it seems to be Bulgaria´s turn to receive offers they can´t resist.
a trade visit to Beijing, Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, praised growing
economic ties with Asian superpower. Bulgaria’s President said
that two leading Chinese construction companies have submitted proposals to
build the Black Sea motorway.

Construction of the motorway is among the projects
proposed by Bulgaria as it competes for Chinese funding under its initiative
for cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This envisages a total credit line of 10
billion US dollars.
During Plevneliev’s visit to China, he and President Xi Jinping agreed to
double trade volume over the next five years.
Read more in this Balkan Insight article.

Berg replaces Berg in Business Sweden

Regional info/economy Posted on Mon, January 20, 2014 16:44:21

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

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

Serbia Posted on Fri, December 27, 2013 13:53:44

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

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

Information from the Board Posted on Mon, December 23, 2013 11:45:40

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

Santa came early to a child center in Mostar this year

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Sun, December 22, 2013 23:47:15

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

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

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

600 applicants took on the Swedish Challenge in Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Sun, December 22, 2013 23:21:14

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

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

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

Svensk premiär för filmen om Belgrad

Serbia Posted on Sun, December 01, 2013 22:21:59

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

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

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

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


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!

Svenssons nya turistmål?

Macedonia Posted on Wed, November 06, 2013 13:49:01

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

EU:s politik på Västra Balkan

Regional info/economy Posted on Tue, November 05, 2013 16:52:43

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

Sweden´s engagement in the Balkans continues

Regional info/economy Posted on Sun, October 27, 2013 15:30:12

“Although the Swedish military was pulling out of Kosovo last week, the Swedish engagement in the Balkans continues”, Swedish Minister of Defence, Karin Enström, and Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, are stating in this article (in Swedish).

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.

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

Events and Seminars Posted on Sun, October 06, 2013 13:53:51

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

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

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

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

Carl Bildt does it…

Information from the Board Posted on Mon, September 30, 2013 21:50:27

…as well as many other politicians and industrialists in Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe.
They follow us on twitter.
Why don´t you do that as well?
Just click here.

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!

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

Romania Posted on Thu, September 26, 2013 09:03:50

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

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Wed, September 25, 2013 09:47:25

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

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

There will
be a total of three calls for proposals during the period 2013-2015. The grants
will be given for a one-year period in the normal case. In total an estimated
SEK 4,5 million will be provided in grants. The first call for proposals will
be in October 2013.
For more information about the selection criteria and how to apply, click here.
Are you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our forum at Linkedin here.

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

Albania Posted on Sat, September 07, 2013 20:34:21

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

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Fri, September 06, 2013 10:53:01

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

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

Serbia Posted on Fri, September 06, 2013 10:34:29

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

Kosovo company steps into the Macedonian market

Kosovo Posted on Fri, September 06, 2013 10:19:48

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

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.

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Sun, July 28, 2013 16:51:58

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

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

Events and Seminars Posted on Sat, July 13, 2013 08:56:17

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

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

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

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

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.

Swedish IT companies now choose Eastern Europe for outsourcing before India

Regional info/economy Posted on Fri, June 28, 2013 09:21:15

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

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

Hungarian recession has come to an end – statistically

Hungary Posted on Thu, June 27, 2013 17:54:11

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

EU must be prepared to honor its commitments

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Wed, June 26, 2013 19:26:30

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

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!

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

Slovenia Posted on Thu, June 20, 2013 10:47:47

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

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).

Banks in CEE outperform those in Eurozone

Regional info/economy Posted on Thu, May 16, 2013 14:14:16

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

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

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.

Launch of the Balkan Art and Culture Fund

Regional info/economy Posted on Fri, May 10, 2013 22:14:31

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

Croatia to privatise its airline

Croatia Posted on Fri, May 10, 2013 21:35:19

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

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.

Highest economic freedom in Macedonia!

Macedonia Posted on Mon, April 29, 2013 12:06:20

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

Worldwide, Hong Kong tops the ranking for the 19th year, followed by Singapore,
Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. (News from Balkan Insight)

You can read more about the Index here.

Save the planet in Sofia

Events and Seminars Posted on Sun, April 28, 2013 09:48:09

29 to 31 May 5 international trade events at Via Expo in Sofia will highlight new products,
technological innovations and business trends for the “green” industry sectors
in the region of Southeast Europe. Apart
from the exhibition, the program includes also parallel forums, panel
discussions and networking events for promoting knowledge transfer.

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

Can we buy your garbage?

Energy & Environment Posted on Sun, April 28, 2013 09:12:23

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

Watch Croatia direct on BBC

Croatia Posted on Sat, April 27, 2013 16:14:55

Croatia will pull together a coverage of pictures and videos focused on Croatia’s entry into the EU in July-across BBC World News and The series is called Croatia Direct and will run between April 22 and May 3.

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

Our forum is growing fast. Welcome to join!

Information from the Board Posted on Sat, April 27, 2013 13:20:44

Our forum in Linkedin is steadily growing, quickly approaching 100 members, attracting new every day. We have now many members from companies, organisations and embassies in Sweden as well as the Balkan countries.
If you are a person with a strong interest to build business and/or cultural relations between our two regions, then you are most welcome to join. You do that by clicking here.

Slovenians threatning to sue Swedes over salami blunder

Slovenia Posted on Sat, April 27, 2013 12:32:17

According to a news flash from the Slovenian Press Agency, the Slovenian food company Košaki is threatning to sue the Swedish National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket),because they have been wrongly accused of selling halal salami that contained pork. According to the news, Košaki says it will sue the Swedish lab that did the preliminary tests for at least EUR 450,000 in damages.

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

Opa Balkan Style!

Regional info/economy Posted on Sun, April 21, 2013 11:18:50

Ado and Dino – two great performers from the town of Västerås in Sweden.

A Historic Deal? “Fan tro´t” as we say in Swedish….

Kosovo Posted on Sat, April 20, 2013 22:51:48

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

Read more from Balkan Insight here.

Swedish Higher Education Council organises contact seminars in Western Balkans.

Events and Seminars Posted on Sat, April 20, 2013 22:25:47

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

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

Next Eurozone country to require a bailout?

Slovenia Posted on Sat, April 20, 2013 21:11:16

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

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

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

Croatia Posted on Sat, April 20, 2013 20:51:20

Croatia is on track to become the EU’s 28th member state on 1 July, MEPs said on Thursday in their last resolution before it is scheduled to join. They highlighted the strength of Croatia’s democracy, social market economy and capacity to fulfil its membership obligations and called on the last two member states, Denmark and Germany, that still have to approve Croatia’s accession to do so without delay. More here.

International leaders address Macedonian students in webinar

Macedonia Posted on Fri, April 19, 2013 14:54:07

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

Emerging superstar with wild beauty

Montenegro Posted on Thu, April 18, 2013 08:48:12

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

New Swedish Ambassadors appointed to countries in Souhteast Europe

Regional info/economy Posted on Mon, April 15, 2013 13:17:10

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

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

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

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

All three changes will take place in the autumn this

Swedish wood industry get together in Sarajevo

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Thu, April 11, 2013 21:28:35

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

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

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

För mer information besök

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

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.

Our Business Forum now open for members

Information from the Board Posted on Sun, April 07, 2013 21:58:41

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

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

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

Dealing with Corruption in Southeast Europe – Any Progress?

Regional info/economy Posted on Sat, April 06, 2013 12:20:45

Despite efforts to bring economic and democratic reforms, many countries in Southeast Europe remain beset by corruption writes, who has put together a report that highlights what actions countries in the region are taking to root out the corrupt practices. Read the report here.

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

Regional info/economy Posted on Thu, April 04, 2013 22:50:20

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

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.

Learn all about Balkan Infrastructure and Construction in Vienna 29 March

Events and Seminars Posted on Tue, March 12, 2013 09:23:58

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

At last: Slovenia opens the door to EU for the neighbour

Croatia Posted on Tue, March 12, 2013 09:15:14

According to a newsflach from the EU Neighbourhood Centre Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and his Slovenian counterpart Janez Jansa on Monday signed a memorandum of agreement ending a 20-year-long financial dispute between the two former Yugoslav republics and eliminating the last obstacle for Slovenia to ratify Croatia’s adhesion treaty to the European Union. The agreement provides for a solution to the issue concerning the remittances of Croatians with savings deposits at the Ljubljanska banka which were frozen in 1991 after the proclamation of independence of Zagreb and Ljubljana. Croatia should become a full EU member in July.

Sweden invites participants from Kosovo to apply for International Training Programmes for Private Sector Development

Kosovo Posted on Sat, March 09, 2013 17:40:08

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) invites participants from Kosovo to apply for International Training Programmes for Private Sector Development: “Strategic Business Management” (SBM) and ” Private Sector Growth” (PSG). The closing date for applications is April 19, 2013.
The programme for Strategic Business Management (SBM) is designed for business leaders from small and medium-sized businesses whereas the programme for Private Sector Growth (PSG) is intended for high-level professionals from national institutions and organisations promoting private sector development in the country.
More information and application forms can be downloaded here.

Programme Coordinator for Swedish Human Rights Org. wanted in Serbia and BiH

Serbia Posted on Sat, March 09, 2013 09:48:17

The Olof Palme International Center is a Swedish non-profit organization that supports partner organizations in many parts of the world, including Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The partner organizations are working for human rights and peace. The Olof Palme International Center is part of the Swedish labour movement with headquarters in Stockholm.
The Olof Palme International Center is recruiting a Programme Coordinator that will monitor projects and support organizations in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and be based in Belgrade. The Programme Coordinator will facilitate the cooperation between the member organizations of the Olof Palme International Center and their partner organizations in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Programme Coordinator will be based in the Belgrade office of the Palme Center and travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina at least 5 to 10 days a month. He/she will be part of a team working with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina together with a Programme Manager based in Stockholm, Sweden.
For job description, requirements and submission of applications, click here.

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

Stockholm Skopje without a stop

Macedonia Posted on Thu, March 07, 2013 11:05:53

Wizz Air’s will begin operate flights between Skopje and Stockholm from May 3rd. Twice a week, Mondays and Fridays.

IKEA and other international advertisers withdraw from Hungarian newspaper over rasist statements

Hungary Posted on Thu, March 07, 2013 08:51:04

Five companies have said they will no longer place advertising in a Hungarian newspaper that published extreme anti-Roma statements. The withdrawal follows a campaign by 24 NGOs, who contacted 15 companies that advertise with Magyar Hírlap, a right-wing Hungarian daily newspaper. The NGOs asked the companies to consider suspending their advertising activities in the newspaper until it distances itself from the racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views expressed by Zsolt Bayer, who compared Roma to ‘animals’ and called for a solution, saying “This must be dealt with – immediately, and by any means necessary”. Read more here.

Sweden Complains to BiH Government for Changing Rules of Telecom Policy Midway

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Mon, February 25, 2013 17:39:44

Sweden, through its Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, recently reacted strongly in a letter to the Bosnian government regarding a sudden and un-advertised change of Telecom policy, resulting in severe negative effects for a Swedish telecom company (and most possibly others) about to invest and start operation as a Virtual Mobile Network Operator (MVNO) in BiH.

An MVNO is a mobile operator that builds his own switching and customer care system, but hires air time in one or more of the incumbent operator´s radio network. Obvious benefits are better utilization of the incumbent´s network and more competition, resulting in lower prices and better services for the end users. A real win-win situation. In BiH there is another interesting advantage with a ”neutral” operator as an umbrella over the three other ethnically influenced incumbents, which would most likely diversify the use of the networks among the ethnical groups.

So when the Telecom law of 2010 invited operators to apply for a licence to run an MVNO in BiH, a highly competent and experienced Swedish telecom company set out for starting up as an MVNO operator. They sent in an application fully compliable to the specifications made up by CRA, the state´s regulatory body, they registered a company in BiH and started a search for local technical and marketing expertise . A number of people worked hard to start to transfer telecom and marketing know how from Sweden to Bosnia.

Then the Bosnian government suddenly changed the rules of the game, stating that the three existing operators will remain alone on the mobile market until further notice. How come?

Such an act is definitely not what you expect from the government in a country aspiring for EU membership and in dire need of foreign investments. In such a situation you are instead expected to open the market and welcome competition. And most important of all – stick to the rules! Who would otherwise dare to invest in a market?

The Swedish government, who is in support of the EU enlargement in the Balkans, is carefully monitoring Bosnia´s progress in the process of fullfilling the EU requirements. The Swedish Ambassador consequently reacted very strongly upon the Bosnian government´s change of rules mid game and sent a letter to the Minister of Communications and Transport. In the letter the Ambassador writes ”At the end of the day, of course, it is the end-users in BiH – i.e. its citizens and businesses – that suffer the most. Consumers should be able to pick the most cost-effective and affordable product. A range of EU laws and regulations underscore this fact.”

The main objective of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – SEE is to promote trade between Sweden and countries in the Balkan region. We have an obligation to report to our members about business opportunities as well as obstacles and risks and therefore choose to publish the letter with permission of the Swedish Ambassador to BiH, H.E. Mr Bosse Hedberg.

Let´s hope that the government of BiH will understand the message, so that future foreign investors from Sweden and elsewhere can feel confident that laws and regulations will be honoured also in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A country that probably needs its investors more than most others.

The letter from the Ambassador of Sweden can be viewed here in English and here in Bosnian language.

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.

Balkan lyfter investeringsbolag

Regional info/economy Posted on Sun, February 17, 2013 12:23:43

2013 har börjat bra för East Capital och de flesta marknader inom den region investmentbolaget East Capital Explorer investerar i hade en positiv utveckling i januari med Balkan i främsta ledet. Den bedömningen gör East Capital Explorers vd Mia Jurke i företagets bokslutskommuniké, rapporterar Dagens Industri.

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.

Economic data and forecast for 17 CEE countries

Regional info/economy Posted on Wed, February 13, 2013 18:51:32

A folder entitled CEE Economic Data — 2011-2014, Issue 1/2013 provides an overview of important economic information for seventeen countries of Central and Eastern Europe as well as for Austria, Germany, Italy and Eurozone. In addition to structural data, e.g., the surface area, per capita GDP and export share of a country, this easy to read folder, which presents each respective country on a two-page spread, also contains important economic indicators and forecasts which extend to 2014. Information is provided in tabular form, making it quick and easy to find the desired data. The folder, which has been published by one of the major banks in the region, can be downloaded by our members here.

Slovenia to sell off the family silver

Slovenia Posted on Wed, February 13, 2013 18:16:35

The Slovenian government 6 February adopted a classification of investments that will be put up for privatisation, IHS Global Insight reported. Among the state-owned companies up for grabs will be telecom provider Telekom Slovenije, banks Abanka and Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), and energy company Petrol. The plan still needs to obtain parliament’s approval before it can be implemented. Slovenia is currently in the midst of a political crisis, with two coalition partners already leaving the government, depriving it of its majority. has more here.

8 miljarder i svenskt SIDA stöd till Östeuropa 2014-20

Regional info/economy Posted on Wed, February 13, 2013 17:37:04

Enligt ett pressmeddelande från regeringskansliet har regeringen beslutat om ett uppdrag till Sida att ta fram underlag till nya strategier för Sveriges reformsamarbete med länderna i Östeuropa och Västra Balkan. Beslutet är ett led i regeringens förnyelsearbete för att bland annat stärka den resultatbaserade styrningen av biståndet. Genom de nya regionstrategierna gör den svenska regeringen ett långsiktigt åtagande till stöd för ländernas EU-närmande. De nya strategierna kommer att gälla 2014-2020 vilket sammanfaller med perioden för EU:s nya utvecklingsinstrument för länderna. Avsikten med detta är att fördjupa samarbetet och koordinationen med EU:s stöd. Det svenska stödet beräknas för perioden att uppgå till ca 8 miljarder kronor.

Energy Saving Hot Topic in the Balkans

Events and Seminars Posted on Wed, February 13, 2013 15:33:07

Energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart buildings are the hot topics of the annual Eco Forum and Exhibition for South-East Europe. The event is organized by Via Expo in the period 29-31 May 2013 in IEC, Sofia, Bulgaria. South-East Europe is a part of the green energy global transformation. Environmental issues are of high priority in these countries and the market in the relevant sectors is in need of experience, modern technology products and equipment. The event will present the current trends and the opportunities for win-win partnerships in Southeast Europe.
More info about the event can be found here.

H&M opens first store in Serbia

Serbia Posted on Sat, January 19, 2013 15:47:40

Swedish fashion store H&M is about to open it´s first store in Serbia, in the capital Belgrade. The store is planned to open during
autumn 2013 according to the Nasdaq OMX newswire. Other new markets for H&M during 2013 are Chile, Estonia, Lithuania
and via franchise in Indonesia.

– “We look very much forward to opening the first H&M store in Belgrade. We are
excited to be able to offer fashion and quality at the best price to our
customers in Serbia from autumn 2013”, says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M.
Contact person:

Camilla Emilsson-Falk
Head of

Telephone: +46 8 796 39 95

Swedish Trade Council + Invest Sweden = Business Sweden

Regional info/economy Posted on Sat, January 19, 2013 14:28:19

Last year the Swedish government closed down Invest Sweden. Last week a new organisation was presented: Business Sweden. It’s a merger between the Swedish Trade Council (Exportrådet) and Invest Sweden with the aim to “take on any assignment related to exports and investment”.
“The aim is to make us an even more attractive, innovative and competitive partner to do business with, both at home and abroad. We can in principle take on any assignment related to exports and investment in Sweden”, says Ulf Berg, the new organisation’s chief executive officer.
Business Sweden — jointly owned by the state and the business sector — essentially provides services required to establish a company and its products, services or ideas in new markets. It has offices in 60 countries and work closely with trade associations, embassies, consulates and chambers of commerce.
This is the new website address to the joint organisation.

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.

Study with scholarship in the Western Balkans

Regional info/economy Posted on Thu, December 13, 2012 21:33:42

Do you want to study abroad in countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania with scholarship? Then the project Euroweb is something for you!

EUROWEB is a scholarship programme for students on undergraduate, master, doctoral and post-doctoral level as well as for university staff in academic or administrative positions, financed by the European Commission.
The EUROWEB Scholarship Programme is open to selected nationals in EU countries and Western Balkans who want to study or work at one of the partner institutions, see Applicant information.The overall objective of EUROWEB project is to create a partnership in research and education that will strengthen the ties between EU and Western Balkans.

Apply latest February 1, 2013!
For more information and application see Euroweb´s home page.

Bosnia EU integration likely to be delayed

Bosnia and Herzegovina Posted on Sat, December 08, 2012 12:21:23

Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle told the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo at the 27th of November that they have not been able to honour their main commitments for the country’s progress towards EU integration. “There is still no political agreement on the implementation of the Sejdić/Finci ruling. A model for a coordination mechanism of all levels of government in EU matters has not been submitted. It is clear that this will delay the EU integration of your country,” Füle said in a Commission communiqué. Read more in the Linked2Balkan news 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.

Food and drinks fair in Belgrade

Serbia Posted on Fri, December 07, 2012 15:55:29

CULINARIA EXPO SERBIA is the specialised food & drink regional show
focusing, for the third time, primarily on trade buyers. The Expo will be held
from March 4th to March 6th, 2013 in Serbia, at the Belgrade Fair venue. FOODREX
CULINARIA EXPO is an outlet to present premium food lines for Serbian food and
drink producers, from small family manufacturers to large corporations. This
will be a great opportunity for professional buyers from Europe and the rest of
the World to meet Serbian food and drink producers, and to establish a
potential cooperation.
food and drink products are widely known, mostly, for their organic origin and
good quality. All companies that are interested in participating in “Hosted
Buyers Programme” should fill out the form on the website: More information about the fair can be downloaded here.

When will Balkan markets perform?

Regional info/economy Posted on Fri, December 07, 2012 15:12:23

Balkan markets have performed poorly over the last five years and, despite an enormous ‘catch-up’ potential, growth continues to disappoint. During an investor trip to Moscow, East Capital’s senior advisor Tim Umberger identified potential triggers for a revaluation of the markets. Read more

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