Eastern Europe Sourcing

Eastern European operations are spread over the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, ex-Yugoslavia, and the Baltic States. Eastern Europe is going through a reconstruction phase, both politically and economically. Predominantly, these are industrial economies with a prominent manufacturing and services sector but still with an important agricultural sector in some countries. It is important to understand the economy of this region for Eastern Europe sourcing.

Czech Republic

This European state is EU (European Union) integrated and follows a relatively conservative market economy. Its strategic location, trained human resources, and thoroughly developed infrastructure encourage export industries.

Exports and Resources – Exports of the Czech Republic include machinery, motor vehicles, iron and steel, electrical appliances, chemicals, and furniture. In 2012, this nation achieved exports worth US $136 billion. Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, France, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands, the UK, the USA, and Russia are the principal trading partners.

The natural resources of this county include coal, kaolin, graphite, and timber, while its agricultural products include wheat, hops, sugar beet, potato, and fruit. Metallurgy, manufacturing, motor vehicles, and glass are the notable industries.


Poland, since 1990, has been undergoing a phase of economic liberalization. This nation’s economy is dominated by the services and industry sectors, which contribute 62 percent and 34 percent, respectively, to GDP.

Exports and Resources – Automobiles, aircraft, manufactured home equipment, processed food, and coal are the principal exports. This country recorded exports worth US $160 billion in 2012. The Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom are the premier trading partners.

Farm products comprise fruits, vegetables, potatoes, wheat, poultry, dairy, and pork. Natural resources include coal, sulphur, coal, silver, copper, lead, amber, and natural gas. Iron and steel, shipbuilding, machine manufacturing, chemicals, beverages, glass, textiles, and food processing are the leading industries of this East European nation.


Slovakia, like its other East European counterparts, is dominated by industries and related services. The services sector accounts for more than 69 percent of GDP, followed by 27 percent by the industrial segment. Slovakia, after becoming a member of the European Union in 2004, experienced significant growth in the electronics and automotive segments.

Exports and Resources – The notable exports of Slovakia include machinery, automobiles, chemicals, base metals, electrical gadgets, and minerals. Mineral resources comprise coal, manganese ore, copper, and iron ore. Grains, hops, potatoes, fruit, and sugar beets are the main agricultural products. Poultry, pigs, and cattle are other prominent resources in Slovakia.

This East European country achieved an export of US $55 billion annually. The Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and France are the principal trading partners of this nation.


This industrialized economy is dominated by the services sector, which accounts for more than 64 percent of GDP. The contribution of the industrial segment is almost 31 percent.

Exports and Resources – Metallurgy, automobiles, chemicals, textiles, steel, iron, fuel, and processed foods are the leading exports of this nation. All these items are exported. An estimate of US $112 billion in exports was recorded. This nation is rich in coal, bauxite, and natural gas. Farm products of this country include corn, wheat, sugar beet, potato, and sunflower seed. Dairy products, cattle, pigs, and poultry are other prominent farm-related activities.

Germany is the principal trading partner of Hungary, while other trading countries, including Austria, Poland, Slovakia, France, Italy, Romania, and the UK, are the main trading partners.


This former communist nation became a member of the European Union in 2007 and is now committed to industrial development and growth. As of date, the services sector contributes more than 63 percent to GDP, followed by 31 percent from the industrial sector.

Exports and Resources – The principal exports of this county include industrial machinery, equipment, extracted iron, steel, fuels, footwear, and clothing. The nation has vast resources of coal, bauxite, zinc, lead, copper, and timber. Among farm products, sugar beet, wheat, barley, fruits, vegetables, sunflower, tobacco, and wine are notable. Livestock rearing is another crucial primary activity in this nation. According to the latest estimates, Bulgaria achieved exports worth US $27.6 billion.

Germany, Romania, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey are the prominent exporters from this country.


If you are looking to establish a buying office in Eastern Europe, Romania is a viable option. Romania, together with Bulgaria, became a part of the EU in 2007. This predominantly industrialized nation is dominated by the services sector, which contributes more than 59 percent of GDP, while the contribution of the industrial sector is nearly 33 per cent.

Exports and Resources – This country is principally an exporter of industrial machinery and equipment, followed by textiles, footwear, chemicals, metals, metallic goods, fuels, minerals, and agricultural products. These agricultural goods include sugar beet, potato, wheat, barley, corn, grapes, timber, and sunflower seed. Sheep and eggs are other noticeable items of produce. Automobile assembly, food processing, petroleum refining, electric machinery, chemicals, and construction materials are the leading industries of this nation.

Romania exported goods and services worth US $67.7 billion, as per the latest estimates. Germany, Hungary, France, Italy, and Turkey are the main buyers of Romanian exports.


Ex-Yugoslavia segregated into Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia.

Exports and Resources of Croatia

Machineries, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles, fuels, and foodstuffs are the chief exports of this country. Sugar beet, potato, wheat, barley, corn, alfalfa, pepper, tomato, onion, cabbage, apples, grapes, olives, and plums are notable farm products of Croatia. Livestock, dairy products, and wine are other noteworthy primary products. Coal, oil, bauxite, iron ore, gypsum, calcium, mica, and silica are the natural resources of this country.
As per the latest estimates, Croatia’s exports amounted to US $13 billion. Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Italy, and Austria are the principal trading partners.

Exports and Resources of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Wood products, clothing, and metals are the chief exports of this nation. Resources include fruits, vegetables, corn, wheat, and livestock. Iron ore, bauxite, coal, zinc, lead, manganese, bauxite, and timber are notable natural resources in this country.

Exports of US$5.4 billion were achieved, as per the latest records. Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, and Italy are the main trading partners.

Exports and Resources of Serbia

Serbia has a huge list of export items that include iron, steel, metal products, non-ferrous metals, automobiles, weapons, electric appliances, rubber items, clothes, fruits, vegetables, and wheat. The resources of Serbia comprise sugar beet, wheat, maize, raspberries, and sunflower. Dairy products, pork, and beef are other important products of this country.

According to the latest estimates, this nation achieved exports worth more than US $12 billion.

Exports and Resources of Montenegro

Consumer goods, food products, aluminium, steel, and livestock are the principal exports of this country. Citrus fruits, potatoes, grapes, olives, and tobacco are the chief farm products.
Exports worth US $640 million were recorded as per the latest estimates. Hungary, Serbia, and Croatia are the trading countries.

Exports and Resources of Macedonia

This country is a principal exporter of foodstuffs, beverages, textiles, tobacco, and processed iron. Agricultural produce includes fruits, vegetables, tobacco, poultry, and dairy items.
Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, and Italy are its main trading partners. This nation recorded exports worth US $4.3 billion as per the latest estimates.

Baltic States

Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania are the nations representing the Baltic States in Europe.

Exports and Resources of Latvia 

Exports of Latvia include food items, timber, wood products, textiles, equipment and machinery, and metal and metal products. Grain, potatoes, rapeseed, and vegetables are the primary agricultural items grown here. Fish, eggs, and dairy products are other noticeable items or produce.

Exports worth US $15.9 billion were achieved as per the latest records. The chief trading partners comprise Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, Germany, and Poland.

Exports and Resources of Estonia 

Industrial goods make up a greater portion of this country’s exports, like electrical equipment, machinery, automobile parts, textiles, and plastic. Other items of export include timber, wooden goods, furniture, metals, foodstuffs, and beverages.

As per the latest estimates, Estonia achieved exports worth US $17.4 billion. The predominant nations of export are Finland, Sweden, Russia, Lithuania, Germany, and Latvia.

A buying office in Eastern Europe may be interested in Lithuania’s exports and resources. Exports and Resources of Lithuania: Lithuania chiefly exports minerals such as peat and amber. Other goods exported comprise chemicals, equipment, machinery, foodstuffs, textiles, and plastic. This country grows sugar beets, potatoes, grains, and vegetables in abundance. Fish, eggs, beef, and milk are produced in large quantities.

Russia, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Belarus, and the Netherlands are the primary buyers of Lithuanian exports. As per the latest records, this nation exported goods and services worth US $29 billion.

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