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The rise of DigitalChallengers

Updated: May 15, 2023

How digitization can become the next growth engine for Central and Eastern Europe

A coding station with two monitors including an IDE with code on each

Since the transition to a market economy almost three decades ago, CEE has enjoyed a golden age of growth. The ten CEE countries examined in this report – Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia – recorded on average a 114 percent increase in GDP per capita between 1996 and 2017, compared to an increase of just 27 percent in the European Union’s “Big 5” econo - mies: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. 1 The CEE region has become one of the most attractive places to invest in globally.

Between 2012 and 2016, the region’s combined digital economy grew by 6.2 percent a year, twice as fast as in the EU Big 5.



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