Cold front is near­ing? Time to chill out!

The Baltic Times - - OUR COMMENTARY - The Baltic Times editor-in-chief li­[email protected]­

As the Arc­tic frost is about to bite the Baltics again, a slew of start-up ecosys­tem trend-set­ters will be siz­zling the au­di­ence at the Techchill event in Riga this week­end, ex­chang­ing their know-how and pro­vid­ing a glimpse in what the in­dus­try will of­fer in 2017. Among the key­note speak­ers will be our fea­tured hero, Il­mars Os­ma­nis, the CEO and Chair­man of the Ex­ec­u­tive Board at Hansama­trix, a Lat­vian-based pro­ducer of com­plex elec­tronic-op­ti­cal prod­ucts and be­yond. The event has at­tracted many other stand-out start-up CEOS, not only from the Baltics, but Europe and the US too. What the trail­blaz­ers will be fo­cus­ing on in the dis­cus­sion pan­els, or over cof­fee in a more re­laxed set­ting, TBT pro­vides a hint on pages 8 and 9, where we’ve asked some of the high-pro­file par­tic­i­pants to an­swer sev­eral ques­tions. Fol­low­ing Don­ald Trump’s vic­tory in the race for the White House, The Baltic Times con­tin­ues in­ter­view­ing high-pro­file US pol­icy mak­ers and an­a­lysts in our tra­di­tional Q&A sec­tion on page 4. This time, we grilled an­other out­stand­ing heavy­weight in US pol­i­tics, Alexan­der Ver­sh­bow, who is the for­mer US Am­bas­sador to Rus­sia, and the for­mer Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of NATO. “I can fully un­der­stand Pres­i­dent Trump’s in­ter­est in en­gag­ing with his Rus­sian coun­ter­part, and seek­ing to ex­plore pos­si­bil­i­ties for re­duc­ing ten­sions be­tween the West and Moscow,” Mr. Ver­sh­bow un­der­scores in the in­ter­view. When asked about tips for the Baltics dur­ing the so-far-rocky Trump pres­i­dency, the an­a­lyst, who now shares his in­sights as a dis­tin­guished fel­low at the US At­lantic Coun­cil, em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of the Baltic States con­tin­u­ing their com­mit­ments to NATO and the US. As the sit­u­a­tion in war-rav­aged East­ern Ukraine is see­ing some new flare-ups, Gene Zolotarev, an in­ter­na­tion­ally known fi­nancier, sheds some light on what to ex­pect from Ukraine’s econ­omy in 2017, in his ar­ti­cle on page 5. “The year of 2017 for Ukraine is a year when the dreams of growth meet geopo­lit­i­cal re­al­ity,” in­fers the an­a­lyst. If you as an in­vestor, mull ex­pan­sion to the Lithua­nian capital Vil­nius, you might be in­ter­ested in our RE ex­pert’s ob­ser­va­tions on Vil­nius’ com­mer­cial RE sit­u­a­tion. “An as­sess­ment of com­mer­cial real es­tate de­vel­op­ment trends in Vil­nius shows that, in re­cent years, the modern of­fice space mar­ket in Vil­nius has been get­ting in­creased at­ten­tion,” in­fers Saulius Vag­o­nis, our RE an­a­lyst. As the week­end is around the corner, now is per­haps the best time to make ar­range­ments for it. Hope­fully, our In&out sec­tion on pages 10 and 11 will help you make up your mind as to where to hang out and chill out. And get the best of it.

Li­nas Jegele­vi­cius

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