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The Central/Eastern Europe Print Market

The collapse of the communist system in the late 1980s gave the Central and Eastern European Countries the opportunity to move from centrally planned economies to market-oriented economies, and ultimately to join and gain access to the European Union. The fall of the iron curtain opened doors to a market of more than 350 million people. Free market principles have been embraced ever since by the local economies and nowadays this dynamic market is full of opportunities.

Business Environment

Countries in Central/Eastern Europe have an attractive business climate for investments because of a more liberalized political climate and the import of magazines and other publications from Western Europe that has created increased demand of printed material in their own countries.

Literacy rates are the highest in the world and they are even higher than US. The relocation of Western European printing capacity to Eastern European countries has already started and will grow as Western European companies take advantage of the availability of an experienced and skilled printing workforce, generally operating at much lower cost.

The Internet is available, used and growing in all countries of the region, but it is not widespread. A major barrier to Internet usage is the practice of per-minute charges for local calls. The expense of connectivity places the Internet out of the reach of many residential users. Generally, broadband access is still in its infancy in the region, so electronic media will be slower to develop in the region, and therefore we see a great potential of printed media in these countries. Also, there is a noticeable growth in print based advertising, most notable in the use of direct mail, because mailing databases and distribution facilities improve.