The 13th Grow East Congress on November 21 2022 invites executives, entrepreneurs, experts and academics to discuss the impact of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine on the CEE economies, their investment attractiveness and the reaction of multinational firms on the situation.

The uncertainty about the escalation of the war, the expansion of the conflict to EU countries and the threat of discontinued energy supplies to Europe have heavily tarnished the investment attractiveness of the CEE region. Not to forget the ongoing disruptions of global supply chains, inflationary pressures unseen for decades and shortages of labor and skills in many sectors that have plagued businesses throughout the region.

At the same time, the EU is pushing the important green and digital transformation of the member states that just gathered momentum with the roll out of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility. This raises the question if the war in Ukraine with its massive impact on European energy supplies and security is accelerating or reversing the development towards green energy. The focus of the Congress is on how Western multinational firms have been coping with this complexity of challenges. Many pressing operational issues have to be handled together with questions on fundamental strategic reorientations. These debates in the corporate groups and with the diverse stakeholders are mostly controversial and good solutions are hard to achieve.

  • What are the effects of the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia on the economies in the region?
  • How are Western multinationals active in the region affected and how do they respond to this multitude of challenges?
  • What is the outlook for the CEE region given the manifold direct and indirect effects of the war in Ukraine on economies, supply chains and markets? What are the plans for rebuilding Ukraine?


Die Redaktion der Austrian Roadmap2050 verlost 6 Live und 6 Online Tickets für den 13. Grow East Congress. Die Verlosung verfährt nach dem first come, first serve Prinzip.

Schicken Sie einfach ein E-Mail an und geben Sie an, ob Sie live vor Ort oder digital per Stream an dem Kongress teilnehmen wollen.

Structure of Congress

08.30-09.00 Registration online/WKO Conference Center

09.00-09.15 Welcome & Opening

Michael Otter, Director General, Advantage Austria

Overview of the Program

Manfred F. Berger, Partner of ICONIC Consulting & Founder of NEUSICHT Think Tank

09.15-09.40 Opening: Doing business in CEE in uncertain times – Arnold Schuh, Director, Competence Center for Emerging Markets & CEE, WU Vienna

09.40-10.40 Session 1: The Big Picture

  • The macro-economic view – Gunter Deuber, Head of Research, Raiffeisen Bank International AG
  • The EU-view/energy view (Advantage Austria/WKO)
  • The consumers/market view – Tobias Schediwy, Commercial Director CEE/Consumer Panels & Services, GfK

Moderation: Manfred F. Berger, ICONIC/NEUSICHT

10.40-11.10 Coffee Break

11.10-12.10 Session 2: The Strategic Responses by Multinational Firms

  • Andrey Yekimov, General Manager Consumer Brands Romania/Bulgaria, Henkel Group
  • Krzysztof Soszyński, Vice-President of the Board, Inter Cars S.A., Poland
  • Herbert Krutina, Division Manager SEE, Member of the Board, STRABAG AG
  • Clemens Först, Spokesman of the Board, Rail Cargo Group Moderation: Arnold Schuh, WU

12.10-12.50 Session 3: The Outlook for CEE and Rebuilding Ukraine

  • The Polish View – Valerie Breitenfeld, Austrian Deputy Trade Commissioner for Poland
  • The Ukrainian View – Gabriele Haselsberger, Austrian Trade Commissioner for Ukraine
  • Rebuilding Ukraine – Thomas Matejka, CFO, Raiffeisen Bank Ukraine

Moderation: Cosima Steiner, Advantage Austria

12.50-13.00 Summary and Outlook

Congress Format

The 13. Grow East Congress offers two options to attend:

  • On-site at the WKO Conference Center, Wiedner Hauptstraße 63, 1045 Wien
  • Online via the Congress website – streamed version for an online-participation.
Congress Organizers

The Grow East Congress is a project initiated and organized by Prof. Arnold Schuh, Director of the Competence Center for Emerging Markets & CEE at WU Vienna, and Dr. Manfred Berger, Partner of ICONIC Consulting & the Founder of Neusicht Think Tank. The Aussenwirtschaft Austria/Advantage Austria, the international arm of the WKO (Austrian Federal Economic Chamber), is our Congress partner.

About the Congress

The main goal of this Congress series that started in 2007 is to provide insights into the current developments in the emerging Europe and highlight the challenges that international and local firms face when expanding into and competing in CEE markets. In this way, we help profiling Vienna and Austria as a “knowledge-hub” in CEE business in the geographic centre of this region. GROW EAST offers a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences between representatives of firms operating in CEE, academics and business students interested in the markets and economies of this region.

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