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Attendees to the 2019 CEELM Winter Party were cornered, over the course of the evening, and asked, without warning or an opportunity to prepare, what achievement over the past 12 months they were proudest of.

Against a backdrop of global uncertainty fuelled by Brexit, a US-China trade war, and a weakening German economy, Central and Eastern Europe has proven itself economically resilient in the face of a challenging year. Led by Hungary, Poland, and Romania – all of which reported more than 4% GDPs growth – many emerging European countries have comfortably outshone the sluggish economies of Western Europe. It is, therefore, unsurprising that foreign investors flocked to the region in 2019 in search of healthy returns.

Whew! Managing the CEE Deal(s) of the Year submission process isn’t easy – and it’s getting tougher every year. But the arduous first stage of the process – collecting and organizing the submissions, creating the ballots, and transmitting them to the various shortlist panels – is over, and I now have a total of two whole weeks to focus on other things before the completed ballots will be returned to me and I will need to calculate the results, create the shortlist ballots, and send them out to the Final Selection Committee.

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