Cold front is nearing? Time to chill out!
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.