Category Archives: Business News and Events

These posts are news and events related to Barry Kolodkin and East Europe Strategy’s consulting business.

Black Sea Wines – A New Blog

We have started a new blog called Black Sea Wines. You can find the blog at http://blackseawine.kolodkin.com. Black Sea Wines is all about the wines of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Black Sea region. The blog will discuss the wines, wineries, winemakers, festivals and events and the wine business and industry. We will have reviews, interviews, news from the Internet, stories and much more. The purpose of the blog is to be informative about wines in this region and to be fun.

Some of the current posts are:

Interviews with Nimrod Kovacs of Kovacs Nimrod Winery in Hungary and Marc Dworkin of Bessa Valley Wines in Bulgaria, makers of Enira wines
– Reviews of Corten Pinot Noir (Moldova), Avia Pinot Grigio (Slovenia) and Ganja Sharab Matrasa (Azerbaijan)
– A calendar of wine related events around Central and Eastern Europe

Expected posts in the near future include an interview with Sebastijan Tomic of Plavac Mali winery in Croatia and reviews of the famous Bulls Blood wine of Hungary, the 2007 Egri Bikaver Dry Red Wine and 2007 Negru de Purcari, the top of the line from Moldova’s Purcari winery.

Our goal is to make this an international blog for anyone with an interest, professional or personal, in wines from this region.

Please check out the blog and sign up to Follow By Email. Feel free to submit content. Also, if you have a website related to wine and want to exchange links, please let us know.

Tell all your friends about us. Even the snooty ones that only drink the fancy French stuff. We want lots of readers.

You can contact us at: blackseawine@kolodkin.com

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Investment Promotion – How You Deliver the Message Matters

On Thursday, March 3rd, I attended an Invest in Slovakia session in New York City sponsored by the Slovak Government and KPMG.  The session was held at KPMG’s offices on Park Avenue. I often work with foreign governments to help them attract foreign trade and investment.

The event featured presentations by the Slovak Ambassador to the US, the former US Ambassador to Slovakia, the Slovak Minister of Economy, the CEO of the Slovak Investment Agency (SARIO), the Chief Commercial Officer of Citi in Slovakia, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovakia and the Head of Transaction Services for KPMG in Central and Eastern Europe. All the presentations were cogent with clear, well-organized slides in business English.  A networking session followed the presentations. There was even a buffet lunch that was well beyond the usual turkey sandwich. All the presentations revolved around a central theme — if you are doing business in Central Europe, Slovakia is your destination because of its stability, location, business environment and ratio of labor productivity to labor cost.

When I compare the Slovakian presentations to other European countries further East, I recall Communist-style speakers, slides with mistakes, endless economic statistics irrelevant to business people, excuses for the political situation, and a depiction of the business environment as, “We have made many reforms. Our business environment is not nearly as bad as you might think.” Comparatively, many of these countries have larger and younger populations, more natural resources and seaports yet you would not think of them as superior investment destinations based on how and what they present. Slovakia is a small, landlocked country with limited natural resources but was presented in the most positive light possible.

The moral of the story is that it matters HOW you say it.

Attending New York City Business Events?

If you are attending any of the following events in New York City,

  • Moldovan Chamber of Commerce meeting on February 23rd.
  • United Nations University entrepreneurship and development seminar on February 24th.
  • Wine Expo on February 25th.

Please contact me.

Last Week’s NY Entrepreneurs Business Network Event

If you were at last week’s NY Entrepreneur’s Business Network event and we were not able to meet, please contact me.

New Partners for Privatization EOI

East Europe Strategy (our company) just submitted an expression of interest to do some work for IFC related to hydropower privatization in Albania. We are in consortium with two fine partners, Montague Capital and Drakopoulos Law Firm. If you do business in that part of the world and need help in project finance, check out Montague Capital; for legal services,

Evaluation of Moldovan IT, Wine and Apparel Industry Project Complete

17 December 2010

I just completed an assignment as the Team Leader for the evaluation of a USAID project in Moldova to bolster the IT, wine and apparel industries. I spent three weeks in Moldova. Overall, it was a good assignment. The company I worked with, Mendez England, was excellent and my colleagues Colin and Veaceslav were top-notch. We believe the client was pleased with the work.

Plus, I gained considerably more insight into the IT and wine industries — industry trends, good companies, marketing needs, etc. — in Moldova and am ready to take on additional commercial projects there.

The big bonus: When you evaluate the wine industry and you visit wineries, you get … free wine tasting!