Central and Eastern Europe's Financial Elite Gathered at the CEE Forum in Vienna

Published: January 20, 2016; 15:30 · (FriedlNews)

The 21st Euromoney Central and Eastern European Forum ended in Vienna today, where 1000 delegates from the region joined local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead. The vast majority of the delegates have a negative outlook for the year 2016. Only one of the participants expects that this year CEE will grow more than 3.5%.

Austria's Finance Minister opens the Central and Eastern European Forum at the Vienna Hilton / Picture: © FriedlNews

The Euromoney Central and Eastern European Forum is an opportune gathering for central European policy makers to meet and share insights as well as discuss key issues that can potentially affect the region for the year ahead.

Policymakers and corporate leaders took the opportunity to meet with investors from inside and outside the region.

Despite, or perhaps because of the extensive number of external factors affecting the region at the start of 2016 this year’s conference was well attended and particularly interesting. It gathered over 1000 delegates from over 40 different countries worldwide.

With a spotlight on the region due to the migrant crisis, the situation in Ukraine, and relations with Russia, the event is attracting attention on a pan-European scale.

Ministers from Austria, Hungary and Romania opened the first day of the conference.

The 2016 keynote speakers were as follows:

H.E. Hans Jörg Schelling, Minister of Finance, Government of the Republic of Austria
H.E. Mihaly Varga, Minister for National Economy, Government of Hungary
H.E. Anca Dragu, Minister of Public Finance, Government of Romania

Central Bank Governors representing several countries opened day 2, including a keynote speach by Ewald Nowotny, Governor, Oesterreichische Nationalbank, and Member of the Governing Council, European Central Bank.

The situation is complex and complicated at the same time.

Some of the key findings of this year's conference are:

> Serbia could issue €1bn Eurobond this year.
> Open questions for the outlook remain: Russia, oil, China, EU governance.
> EU is still not a single labor market and therefore is losing opportunities and positive economic effects.
> Governors of National Banks of Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovenia are really positive about Quantitative Easing and BCE policies.
> Appeal of alternative assets in CEE is increasing
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