Congress Theme

A new wave of nationalism has gained ground in the world in the last years. The tensions arising from the contradicting forces of globalization and nationalism are influencing the region of Central and Eastern Europe too.

With the advanced integration into the EU, the former communist countries of CEE seemed to have become Western-style liberal democracies and sound market economies. The successful economic catching-up process in the last 25 years is considerably owed to intensifying interaction with the world and openness to foreign investors. CEE firms have benefitted from participating in global value chains and from continuous international expansion.

This success story contrasts sharply with the growing number of CEE governments that turn to a populist-nationalist agenda and follow a Eurosceptic course. Even countries with an excellent economic performance and quickly rising living standards are not immune to nationalism. These governments favour domestic firms over foreign ones, engage in the bashing of foreign multinationals, try to regain control over strategic industries, and often run an anti-Western and anti-globalization course. At the same time, CEE governments court investors from China, Russia and Arab countries, particularly when they offer cheap financing & investments into infrastructure projects. Western investors have been taken by surprise by this new stance towards them and by this return to nationalist thinking.

At this Congress, we will discuss the causes of this new nationalism, its implications on firms doing business in the CEE region, their business models &especially the implications on HR / human capital, where we have seen a brain drain, especially with top talents and a lack of skilled managers & workers in recent months & we will show, which ways companies have found to cope with these new challenges.


Congress Format

This Congress centers around current management issues that local and foreign firms operating in the region of Central and Eastern Europe encounter today. Academics, entrepreneurs and executives of businesses active in CEE discuss how to deal with the growing nationalism against the backdrop of globalization and EU integration. The format is a mix of keynote speeches and related panel sessions.


Target Group

Owners, executives, marketing and sales executives, export and country managers of national and international companies as well as consultants with focus on Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, academics and business students with interest in CEE management and business. We expect about 150-200 participants.

The Competence Center for Emerging Markets & CEE at WU Vienna will invite 50 WU students from CEE study programs (Master Class CEE, JOSZEF, CEE CercleWU) and the WU Master Program “Export and Internationalization Management” (in coordination with Prof. Reinhard Moser) to the Congress. Participation for those invited students will be free of charge.


Congress fee

Regular fee: EUR 300,- (plus VAT)
Members of WKO: EUR 150,- (plus VAT)
Students: EUR 25,- (plus VAT)

Time: 8:30 – 16:00
Place: Conference Center of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO),
Wiedner Hauptstraße 63
A - 1040 Vienna
Auditorium: R. Sallinger Saal

Grow East 2018

About this years program

Register Now

Simply order your Tickets online!

Grow East Review

Review the past events