Changing business challenges for Western multinationals in CEE in times of the Covid-19 pandemic

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to professionals/public


The outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020 stopped a formidable 5-year growth period in CEE. To assess the impact of the pandemic on the future development of the CEE region, the analysis of pre-crisis trends in the business environment is a good starting point. We identified six structural challenges that shall be on the radar of Western multinationals operating in EU-CEE: labor shortage and demographic decline, tendencies towards nationalist-populist policies, the decline in institutional quality, the transition from a low-cost economic model to an innovation-driven economy, a changing competitive landscape and the exposure to EU/global politics. Seen through the lens of the Covid-19 crisis, we do not expect many changes in directions of those trends, the pandemic is rather reinforcing them. The postponement of the labor shortage and the accelerated digitalization are among the positive outcomes. The other expected developments are rather threatening for the incumbent Western multinationals. They will face a stronger and more intervening state, increasing corruption and a reduced funding from the EU. The management of the Western multinationals will have to pay more attention to the economic and political affairs in the individual countries and consider the more comprehensive use of political strategies to protect their local businesses.
Period19 Nov 2020
Event titleVienna Insurance Group "Expertise Matters" Series
Event typeUnkonwn
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502044 Business management
  • 502052 Business administration