With a world class reputation in computer programming and a fast developing infrastructure, Eastern Europe is turning its back on backwardness. New industries are being created and more businesses are being attracted to the region. This is happening at a faster rate than ever before. Both China and India are playing their part in this expansion as Eastern Europe challenges the rest of the world to become the new center for off-shore expansion. There are several factors involved in this shift and I would like to look at some of them below.
Perfect for outsourcing
The most obvious advantage that Eastern Europe has is the significantly lower cost of living. This, in turn, means that wages and the costs of production are also lower. With the costs of production lower, the region has become a magnet for 'off-shoring'. This trend looks set to continue and has even coined a new term for west European business outsourcing to the region - 'Nearshore'. India has significant investments in Polish industry and China has begun to base some of its operations in the area including the building of rail infrastructure and the construction of high speed trains.
'Nearsourcing' to the region is an even more attractive option given several other key features of the workforce and business. Highly educated people Almost all the population has at least a bachelor level degree. This exceeds almost any other region in the world. Historically, higher education has long been highly developed and has set high standards and expectations for its students. This has obvious advantages for anyone looking to base their business in Eastern Europe.
Another peculiarity of the region is that an estimated 40% of the population speak at least two languages. This figure rises to 70% in those aged under 40. For those who speak a foreign language, 80% of them speak English. Like India, this allows for a much wider scope in outsourcing and allows any foreign investor to give the business more autonomy in expanding foreign business.
World class computer programmers
This is acknowledged by economists as the biggest strength that the region possesses. It has rapidly become a rival to India in outsourced IT functions. What makes this feature of the region more impressive and sets it apart from elsewhere, is the level of expertise that East Europeans posses in IT and programming. This gives the region a specialty in one of the most important industries in the 21st century.
The Geographic location of Eastern Europe gives it one of its most significant advantages. It is the gateway between Europe, Asia and Africa. This gives Eastern Europe and advantage in terms of time zones, being ideally placed to work between these major population centers. In addition, we have the construction of the Balkan Railway a joint CCE and Chinese project in what is becoming known as the new 'Silk Road'. The future looks far brighter for the region in the last decade than at any time in its history. There are still challenges like stemming the net emigration from the region. Even here, however, there is a significant decline in the rate of emigration as more opportunities are created.