The Balkan Region: Europe’s workshop

In the wake of the combined EU Recovery Fund and previously-communicated EU Cohesion Funds for 2021 – 2027, the likes of Bulgaria and Croatia will receive funding equivalent to 35% of their 2019 GDP, while Greece, Romania and Slovenia will get support amounting to 27%, 26% and 17% of their 2019 GDP respectively. This means an additional 2.5% to 5% of GDP annually, a number that will be extremely supportive for the mid-term economic outlook, particularly when combined with pandemic induced supply chain compression.

European business must take stock of its supply chain options.

There are a few jurisdictions to consider, like heading down to Turkey or across to Northern Africa. The very latter is likely to be a viable option but only in conjunction with developing other routes in the Western Balkans. The data supports this as being worth much more than a passing consideration.

If one takes the comparable World Population Review1 education rankings data for maths and science2 it’s clear the Western Balkans represents, on average, 89.1% of the top EU3 comparables making the regions workforce more than capable.

The World Bank’s Human Capital Index4 measures what a child, born today, can expect to attain by their 18th birthday with 1.0 being the highest score. The point of the exercise is to see what countries are best at mobilising the economic and professional potential of their populations. Using the same comparables, the Western Balkans rank 0.65 against the EU at 0.78 which means, again, the region is very close to its European neighbours when it comes to its ability to develop its labour pools.

The most telling is the comparable cost. The average monthly salary5 for the Western Balkans is €1,325 against €4,023 for the European sample set.

The infrastructure costs (land, rents, utilities etc) also compare very favourably and, in most cases, are at the lower end of the cost quartile.

So basically, if Europe is serious about achieving strategic economic autonomy in practical terms, the Western Balkans have to be considered. This is before consideration is given to reducing the worlds carbon footprint due to in part to extended supply chains.

How can Greenhouse help?

Greenhouse has been operating across Europe’s emerging and developing economies for more than 13 years and has, in the process, developed deep commercial and political networks across these markets where proactive, localised transaction and stakeholder management is critical to success.

Greenhouse can quickly understand and make comprehensive sense of structural and cultural complexity, conduct sound critical analysis to determine optimal solutions with the capability to then oversee implementation.

The scope of some of the supply chain services we offer covers the following;

The nature and scope of these services will vary as it depends on whether you’re aiming to implement a direct establishment strategy or strategic supplier sourcing. We can help with both which can include migrating manufacturing capacity across jurisdictions.

If you would like some help in reviewing your options together with implementation support, please don’t hesitate to contact us on hello(at)