The post-crisis global economic environment and the prospects of the economies of the SEE region were discussed by Eurobank EFG Group representatives in Sofia yesterday. Leading top managers of the Group, owner of Postbank in Bulgaria, analyzed the current state of the global economy and outlined key prospects, challenges, opportunities and threats in Bulgaria and the rest of the countries in the SEE region.
The official conference gathered the Bulgarian business community, government officials, institutional investors, large corporate and private clients and representatives of leading business associations in the country. At the event Mr. Giorgio Pradelli, General Manager, Head of International Activities and Group Executive Committee member , Mr. T. Karakassis, Deputy General Manager of Intenrational Activities and Depute Chairperson of Postbank's BoD, Dr. Platon Monokroussos, Head of Financial Markets Research of Eurobank EFG Group and Anthony Hassiotis, Chief Executive Officer of Postbank, presented the Group's analysis of economy developments - globally as well as on a regional level.
In his opening speech Mr. Hassiotis stressed: "Bulgaria is a country with a promising future and as one of the leading banks in the country, Postbank is a vital financial mediator with a primary goal of being an engine of growth for the Bulgarian economy. As such we have been an active partner to households, businesses and institutional clients in the country. Among our clientele are many of the large and medium sized companies in Bulgaria and we are going to great lengths to ensure that they receive both the service and product range they need and deserve. Our ultimate goal is to become their main transactional bank over time."
Two years after the crisis spread in Central and SEE, the region's economies have broadly stabilized and are expected to turn strongly positive in 2011 with the recovery recording significant rates in the case of Bulgaria, according to Dr. Monokroussos who delivered the Group's latest economic forecast at the event in Sofia. Bulgaria could accelerate its GDP to 2,5% in the coming year based on the improving current account balance (deficit 3,5% of GDP in 2010) as well as on the net export rates that remain positive in the past year. "Bulgaria still has to face certain challenges however, as the economy needs to adjust to the new environment of diminished capital flows and the private sector should shift resources towards the trade," added Dr. Monoukroussos.
Eurobank EFG Group's commitment as an investor in Bulgaria was also supported by Mr. Pradelli.: "The economic challenges in the region will not disappear at once. It is important however that banks foresee the expected changes. And not only this - banks have to have clear strategy how to handle those challenges," said Mr. Pradelli.