Central & Eastern European Automotive Forum



Among speakers, panellists and 1-to-1 hosts

The Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Through its extensive network of contacts in the public and private sectors, HIPA provides foreign investors with high-quality support for critical investment decisions, and a wealth of supplementary services. HIPA is here to help you through the whole investment process, from start to finish, through a free of charge, one-stop shop service approach.

Upon request HIPA helps to identify and find suppliers and offers to put together a list of experts. It handles its own project portfolio, the (Hungarian Investment Projects – HIP), that contains projects certified by experts that are awaiting foreign capital input. It promotes the re-investment by companies already present in Hungary.




Automotive Chemistry and Textile engineer as formation, spent the last 23 years of career in 9 countries, working at 4 major Tier 1 Companies.

President of the Investor Club at Regional Chamber of Commerce Nis
Member of Automotive Associations and Clusters in CEE.

Specialist in turnaround plan, manufacturing excellence, business plans, grants management, brown and greenfield set up.

Since 2014 Heiner Giese is in charge for innovation- and idea management at item Industrietechnik GmbH in Germany. Additionally, in 2016, he established an organizational development group, supporting corporate development.

Heiner Giese studied mechanical engineering at Duisburg University and RWTH Aachen University. He graduated in 2009 and afterwards joined the process engineering lab at RWTH Aachen. Five years, he worked as a lecturer and scientist. In 2014 he obtained a doctorate in mechanical engineering science.

Jörg Hölig studied electrical engineering at Dresden Technical University. He graduated in 1992 and afterwards joined Continental Safety Engineering International, followed by ACTS (part of the Magna group) for another five years and has been staying with EDAG since 2003. After having lead the vehicle safety department for eight years, he moved on in 2016 to manage EDAG's integral safety innovations: "Integral safety" is a holistic approach to vehicle safety, adding active safety and ADAS features to complement "traditional" passive vehicle safety. He's an active member of German VDA's FAT working groups on "the human being as driver" and "accident investigation".

Viktor Mizo is the Managing Director of Kostal Group’s operation in Macedonia since 2017 – a highly automated plant for mechatronic and electronic products for premium automotive customers. Prior to that he was the CEO of the Macedonian Free Zones Authority and a key member of the Government’s economic team responsible for attracting foreign investments. He had a record of exceptional leadership and strategic vision, responsible for numerous greenfield investment projects by multinational companies that have located their production or service operations in Macedonia. Having spent most of his business career in the US, he worked as a design engineer at Magna, Master Black Belt within a Technical Leadership programme at General Electric and as management consultant at McKinsey. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating summa cum laude. An alumnus of Harvard University, Mr. Mizo holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Robert Šimončič has over 30 years of professional experience in the U.S. and Slovakia. He headed the Slovak branch of Microsoft and in April 2004 he was awarded the prestigious award the IT Personality of the Year 2004 in Slovakia. Prior to joining Microsoft Slovakia he worked in the field of management consulting, first with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Principal Consultant and later with the IBM as the Senior Manager of Business Innovation Services Division in the U.S. His primary field in the business consultancy was development of company strategies and government organizations. He was the President of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Slovakia and also the Chairman of the Board for the American Chambers of Commerce (European Council of American Chambers of Commerce – ECACC). From December 2010 he is the CEO of Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO).

He also serves on the board of two leading Universities in Slovakia. He is a board member of the University of Economics in Bratislava. Since May 2013 he has also served as the Chairman of the Board of the Comenius University in Bratislava.

He is married and with his wife Lucia he is raising their rapidly growing twins, Esther and Goran.

On November 7th, 2017, the Government of the Republic of Moldova appointed Vitalie Tarlev as State Secretary for Information Technology and Communications at the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.

Previously he served as Deputy Minister of Information Technology and Communications since 2013, and Director within the same Ministry, since 2005.

Mr. Tarlev has been involved in numerous high profiled ICT national and international initiatives and his duties and responsibilities being focused on policy and legal framework for Information Society development as follows: Digital Moldova 2020 Strategy, sustainable and balanced growth of ICT industry (Law on IT parks, Start-up Visa, digital education), Emergency communications (112 Service), Digital signature, Cyber security program (NIS infrastructure, content & services, human capital and cyber security), transition to terrestrial digital TV broadcasting, efficient Radio frequencies management, ccTLD.md administration, Maintenance and interoperability of the basic governmental registries, etc.

He speaks Romanian, English and Russian.