Russia is often painted as a villain in the news cycle thesedays, but the business environment there—and throughout Central and Eastern Europe—is more complex, andmore promising, than it may appear to casual outside observers.

The region experienced strong growth in 2018, thanks to domesticdemand fueled by tightening labor markets, high wage growth, andlow borrowing costs, among other factors. As we head into 2019,conditions look favorable for that demand to remain high. Moreover,the business environment in Central and Eastern Europe is largelypositive—for now. Strong institutions and a proximity to WesternEuropean markets, which enables easy integration with the supplychains of major companies in the West, combine to support anoptimistic outlook.

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