Andrew Wrobel: Southeast Europe Offers Great Opportunities for Foreign Investors and Companies that Would Like to Trade with the Region

Andrew Wrobel is the founding partner of Emerging Europe and the think tank’s head of content strategy and research. Since the beginning of his career, he has covered business, investment, trade, macro-economy, and political economy. Andrew has authored and contributed to a number of international business, investment, and trade-related publications, guides and reports, mainly about the CEE region.

This year, he will be part of the Macedonia2025 Summit which will happen from 7-10 November, where he will be chairing a panel session titled Developments in SEE – Investments, Trade and Prospects, alongside several renowned experts as speakers.

 

Macedonia2025: Andrew, you will be joining us on stage at the upcoming Summit as a panel chair of the discussion titled: Developments in SEE – Investments, Trade and Prospects. Who is in your group of panelists and what will be the main course of discussion?

First of all, I am happy to chair a session at the Macedonia 2025 conference. I am going to have a fantastic panel of experts representing international financial, legal and research organizations, as well as foreign investors. I believe South Eastern Europe offers great opportunities for foreign investors and companies that would like to trade with the region. The countries have made significant progress in doing business and some of them are already negotiating their EU membership. I also believe that there is too little awareness about the region – and its potential – in Western Europe and around the globe and we’re here to change that. I hope this discussion and the work that Macedonia 2025 and Emerging Europe do will contribute to that.

Macedonia2025: Apart from being a media commentator, you are also a moderator and a panelist at many international economic and business events. What are your expectations from the Macedonia2025 Summit?

I really enjoy travelling across the region and learning about its potential so I can help people in Western Europe better understand current trends. Conferences are a great way of doing that. Meeting with and speaking to officials, local and foreign business people living and doing business in the region is very often an eye-opener for me. I am sure that the Macedonia 2025 Summit will be a great opportunity to learn more about Macedonia, a country I have already visited multiple times.

Macedonia2025: You are the Founding Partner and Head of Content Strategy and Research at Emerging Europe. Please tell us something more about your work there.

Emerging Europe is a think tank whose mission is to help the region of Eastern Europe, including South Eastern Europe, grow socially, economically and democratically, as well as drawing the attention of the global audience to it. We bring the world to the region by running a web portal and a magazine as well as developing and executing multiple initiatives such as the Emerging Europe Alliance for Business Services, Innovation and Technology, the Emerging Europe Awards, outlooks on individual countries and sectors, and a host of other initiatives.

We believe the region should finally come to terms with the experiences that helped shape it, and become more visible on the global stage. It needs to come out into the light and make the most of its true potential. It needs to emerge, hence Emerging Europe.

Macedonia2025: Currently, you are pursuing a PhD in nation branding. How are things progressing in this area?

Nation branding is indeed an area that I have been interested in for quite some time. The brand of region and of individual countries have to be strengthened and both Emerging Europe and I are working on that. This year we ran the first ever investment promotion ranking where we looked at how the 23 investment promotion agencies (IPAs) communicate their potential and how they handle enquiries from potential investors. Even the best IPA in the region achieved only 65.5 out of 100 points which shows there is still room for improvement. As far as my research is concerned I am currently focused on the impact that politics have on some of the emerging Europe brands.

Macedonia2025: Besides being a journalist, you are also a film director. How do you translate acquired knowledge in the film industry into the journalistic profession?

Yes, I have completed a film directing course and produced a couple of documentaries. I also worked for a TV network for several years. I believe that in the era of video and image being able to tell a story in a very visual way is important if we want to reach large audiences and my experience clearly helps me do that.

 

Thank you for the interview.