Keep up to date with the latest predictions about the future. Discover, where the Central and Eastern European region is heading and what are the most important opportunities and risks. Inspire yourself for analysis and forecasts for the coming year and beyond.
We have described trends in the following areas for you
President and CEO Skanska’s commercial development business unit in CEE
We have gone through the most extraordinary year in our history – as countries, societies, and companies. The deep recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the fundaments of economies and business models, but a revival of economic activity observed since early 2021 brought hope for a much better future.
CEE has solid macroeconomic fundamentals: high GDP growth, low indebtedness, low unemployment, and a strong inflow of foreign investments. The most important fact is that the knowledge economy is the fastest-growing segment of the CEE region. IT, R&D, pharma, consulting, finance – those sectors grow at the fastest pace, supported by the large pool of well-educated workers. This creates a very positive environment for the office markets.
The new era will be defined by two important megatrends: digitalization and “green evolution”. Companies accelerate the transformation into digital processes and clean energy. We are observing these trends everywhere around and see that CEE is dynamically adapting to new challenges.
I am confident that our report will help you navigate the trends and phenomena defining CEE economies. Enjoy the reading!
Head of Divestments, Skanska’s commercial development business unit in CEE
There are a few reasons why Central and Eastern Europe is one of the most attractive regions gaining capital inflows or FDI inflows. It is not only about lower costs of work in countries such Poland or the Czech Republic, but the fact we are observing an increasing number of services which require highly qualified employees. Additionally, the share of personnel employed in R&D is growing, which is an important factor indicating the investment attractiveness. CEE countries are competing with richer European nations when it comes to the share of their working-age population employed in knowledge-intensive businesses. A significant share of young people investing in higher education and stable, low labour costs have led to a brain business surge in Central and Eastern European nations. These factors directly affect the growing percentage of companies using modern digital technologies and indicate regional further development in the following years. And that means still undercovered potential and destination for capital allocation.
Executive Vice President Leasing & Sales
The pandemic has reflected some new trends and highlighted the strengths of the CEE region. A stable economic environment has been revealed, enhancing competitive edge compare to other countries in Europe. It proofs countries like Poland or the Czech Republic being less vulnerable to current global disruptions and most of the macroeconomic risks brought by COVID-19. Thanks to long-term development, EU’s grants boosting the economy in the region, presence of a highly educated workforce, and overall business friendliness, the region is more attractive than ever. We see an obvious shift towards the growing importance and scale of the e-commerce sector and the currently ongoing transformation of our way of work. Those factors influence trends related to the post-pandemic supply chain changes, which put nearshoring and moving business processes to companies located in nearby countries in the lead. There are also some clear signs of other impacts on the real estate market itself. Demographic changes and the evolution of expectations among young generations, additionally amplified by the new pandemic reality and gaining its importance hybrid work models, have led us to long-term trends like a shift over existing preference to ownership on the residential market. It can be expected that in CEE countries more and more people will decide to live in rental properties, which has a significant meaning for further deployment of the market.
Executive Vice President Human Resources, Skanska’s commercial development business unit in CEE
The CEE region has indeed a relatively good position as female participation in the employment market became common in the 20th century and that societal norm held after the transformation. There are still however gaps to bridge – to enhance female participation in employment our region has to excel in workplace gender equality, closing the gender pay gap, increasing female participation in executive positions, breaking division between feminized and masculinized jobs. However, even more importantly, states have to take a more active role in providing support for those females who are primary caretakers – statistically much more often than male – of children, aging parents, or family members with disabilities. Care responsibilities combined with unpaid work performed by women in households – still more than men – are primary reasons for lower participation in the employment market.
In times of shortage of talent on the market, companies have no other choice but to embrace and attract younger generations. To do that effectively, companies have to consider their preferences, one of them being values-driven company culture and values alignment. Thousands of graduates entering the market are looking for employers that are socially and environmentally responsible, are looking for employers that provide a working environment that helps to thrive, develop oneself and contribute to a better society, where ethics and work ethos are equally important as profitability.