Transition Economies In The Western Balkans Economics Essay

What are transition economic systems really. There are different names, different categorizations and different constituents used to categorize them depending on when and who defined them. In different literatures diverse footings are used like developing markets, emerging states, frontier markets, emerging Europe, non to bury here the most often used term underdeveloped or ‘third universe states ‘ . The last two are instead inaccurate because most of these states are really developed if referred to history and civilization. ( Cavusgil et al. 2008, Page 254 )

Since the focal point of this survey is non on the emerging economic systems in general but the South East European part, the term that will be used is transition economic systems. This term explains best the similarities and characterises of these states that transited in the last 20 old ages from a centrally planned economic system to the market oriented economic system.

3.1.1. Specifying passage economic systems

The definition of the World Bank for Countries with passage economic systems ( passage states, passage economic systems ) :

“ States traveling from centrally planned to market-oriented economic systems. These countries- which include China, Mongolia, Vietnam, former democracies of the Soviet Union, and the states of Central and Eastern Europe contain about tierce of the universe ‘s population. [ aˆ¦ ] Several states with passage economic systems are sometimes grouped with developing states based on their low or in-between degrees of per capita income, and sometimes with developed states based on their high industrialisation ” . ( May 2012 )

The World Bank categorizes the different economic systems based on the degrees of gross national income ( GNI ) per capita.

The World Bank classifies Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia as developing states and all these states, except for Kosovo in the Upper-middle-income economic systems ( $ 3,976 to $ 12,275, GNI per capita 2010 ) ( May 2012 )

Another name for South eastern Europe that has been entirely used recently is the name “ Western Balkans ” and this part includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia FYR, Montenegro and Serbia. ( May 2012 )

Western Balkan states after the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the terminal of communist regulation in Albania fell into deep poorness. This was chiefly caused by an utmost rising prices ( utmost devaluation of Dinar and Lek ) , the prostration of province owned endeavors and therefore the whole economic systems which lead to utmost lessening of incomes. The scissor consequence widened really fast the spread between rich and hapless.

The disintegration of Yugoslavia that took 17 old ages, many cultural struggles, several wars and several hundred 1000s of lives, were a great obstruction in the socio economic development of the part. One state dissolved in 7 states in 17 old ages. Slovenia was the first to divide in 1991 and last was Kosovo in 2008.

This explains why this part is ever analysed individually from Central Europe. While cardinal Europe was uniting, incorporating and working together for the same purpose, the Balkans were dividing, dividing and contending for the proper patriot right. The huge differences between Central Europe and the Western Balkans are these 17 old ages of struggles or the lost decennary of the Balkans wars of the 1990s. ( Rupnik 2011, page 17 ) .

3.1.2. Developments in recent old ages in the Western Balkan

However since the start of the new century, it was really obvious that Western Balkans hold much potency. Thankss to countless international assistance and investing it was possible to promote the creative activity of new occupations, addition of incomes, surrogate economic stableness and better life criterions. The last decennary in Western Balkans showed rapid economic growing.

Like all passage economic systems Western Balkans are characterised by a immature average age of its citizens with a medium to high instruction degree and a fast spread outing middle-class. What characterises all states is the huge unsimilarity of the rural socio economic degree with those in urban countries. Like in most passage economic systems there are strong poorness differences between rural and urban countries. ( Swinnen 2006 ) . The urban countries have an advanced commercial substructure and center to high income consumers, contrasting the rural countries that have limited entree to services and physical substructure, and consist of chiefly agricultural based really low income consumers.

Looking individually one might believe that these are little states with small market potency. But by whizzing out the map one shortly recognises that it is rather a large part we are speaking about. Relatively, Western Balkans district, with a population of about 25 million, is somewhat bigger that the United Kingdom and Belgium together ( 242.900 km2 + 30.528 km2 ) , with a entire country of 275.333 km2 or around 6 % of the EU entire district ( 4.325.675 km2 ) . ( Own computation )

Even though there are many market similarities when it comes to economic development there are immense differences ( see Table 3 ) . There is Croatia for illustration, that leads with the highest GDP per capita 15.000 EUR PPP, highest monthly rewards 1.043 EUR, highest FDI influxs, lowest Inflation 2,3 % and last unemployment rates 13,7 % in the part.

Macro indexs Western Balkans for 2011

Country Albania BiH Croatia Kosovo Macedonia FYROM Montenegro Serbia

Population, 1000 Persons 2.831 3.843 4.435 2.070 2.060 620 7.280

Area km2 28.748 51.197 56.594 10.908 25.713 13.812 88.361

GDP, existent alteration in % 2,9 2,2 0,0 5 3 2 1,6

GDP per capita ( EUR at PPP ) 6.800 6.800 15.000 4.900 9.000 10.500 9.100

Gross industrial production, existent alteration in % 2,0 5,6 -1,2. . -10,3 2,1

Unemployment rate LFS, in % , mean 14,0 27,6 13,7 45 31,4 19,7 23,0

Average gross monthly rewards, EUR 292 649 1.043 230 497 722 512

Inflation % 3,5 3,7 2,3 5,3 3,9 3,1 11

Public debt in % of GDP 60 39 43.9 5,9 35 44 45

FDI influx, EUR mln 742 313 1,048 701 304 401 1,949

Gross external debt in % of GDP 46,3 25,5 100,9 – 65,7 30,3 81,2

On the other manus there is Kosovo, an lone 4 old ages old Republic, ( public debt merely 5,3 % of the GDP ) , with lowest GDP per capita PPP 4.900 EUR, lowest monthly rewards of 230 EUR and highest unemployment rate of 45 % . The other states tend to be more comparable to each other.

3.1.3. EU and Western Balkans

Harmonizing to the European Commission, Western Balkans states have moved closer towards the EU in the last 5 old ages, and the European Council has agreed to widen the EU position to the Western Balkans states ( hypertext transfer protocol: // may 2012 ) . It is clearly mentioned that the EU house is unfastened for all the states that fulfil all necessary political and economic conditions for the EU rank. On the other manus, a state can merely go EU member with the consentaneous determination of all 27 existent member provinces that makes this a political determination to a certain extent.

The following connection state will be Croatia, which presently hold the position of submiting state. It will go the twenty-eighth EU member on the 1st July 2013 after about 10 old ages of audiences and dialogues. Montenegro, Macedonia FYROM and Serbia have presently the position of campaigner states. They are at different phases at their EU pre-association historical development as some states accession dialogues advancement quicker and for some others slower. ( hypertext transfer protocol: // May 2012 ) For illustration Macedonia is a candidate state since December 2005, Montenegro since December 2010 and Serbia since March 2012 and none of them has yet started the accession dialogues. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are known as campaigner states, which mean that they are possible EU campaigner in the long-run once they have fulfilled the necessary political and economic demands for rank.

Many political analysts are doubting sing the rank of these three states in the close hereafter, so that it is at least a decennary off before Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are ready to fall in the EU.

Figure 3: Western Balkan mountainss and the EU expansion 2012

Beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: // May 2012


3.1.4. AL-MA-KO-MO

It sounds like a Nipponese manufacturer of high-tech trade goods ; it is in fact an abbreviation for ALbania, Macedonia, KOsovo and MOntenegro. These four states are frequently put together in international concern non merely because of the geographic distance but besides due to other similarities such as the linguistic communications spoken, and the socio-economical degree of development. In Albania and Kosovo the official linguistic communication is Albanian. In Macedonia and Montenegro the Albanian linguistic communication is recognised as a minority linguistic communication besides in the official usage. In Macedonia the official linguistic communication is Macedonian and regionally Albanian, and in Montenegro the official linguistic communication is Montenegrin linguistic communication and regionally Albanian. In Kosovo and Montenegro the official currency is Euro even though neither is a member of the Eurozone Monetary Union. Both states had adopted the German Deutsche Mark as official currency that later was replaced by the euro. Opportunities and hazards

ALMAKOMO histories for about 10 million dwellers or 10 million really fast believing clients, in a really fast changing and spread outing market around the corner of the European Union. Sing foreign investing as one of the chief pillars to construct a healthy and strong economic system, all states have now established governmental organic structures to pull foreign investing and help foreign investors in accomplishing their aims.

In Albania, the Albanian Investment Development Agency ( AIDA ) a renamed version of former Albinvest, a governmental administration direct under the Prime curate ‘s Office, aims to “ increase the fight of the Albanian economic system and offer the foreign and domestic investors comprehensive support for their investing undertakings ” ( )

In Macedonia, the Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion of the Republic of Macedonia “ Invest Macedonia ” is the primary authorities establishment back uping foreign investing in the Republic of Macedonia. ( )

In Kosovo, the Investment Promotion Agency of Kosovo ( IPAK ) is the prima Government Institution to advance foreign publicity in investing for Kosovo every bit good as with the publicity of exports. ( )

In Montenegro, the Montenegrin Investment Promotion Agency ( MIPA ) is a national investing bureau set up by the Government of Montenegro in 2005 to advance foreign investings and facilitate economic development in Montenegro. ( ) .

Despite their present phase of economic struggling, the ALMAKOMO states offer extraordinary investing chances to open-minded investors. As the overhead aim of all these states is the EU Membership, the docket of each authorities clerly indicates in capital letters the words “ Reforms ” , “ Stability ” and “ Economic Performance ” . The “ Doing Business Report in South East Europe 2011 ” issued by the World Bank shows that all four states have made immense betterments compared to 2008 with respect to affairs such as get downing up a concern, covering with building licenses, registering belongings and implementing contracts.

Albania Macedonia Kosovo Montenegro Regional Average

2009 2012 2009 2012 2011 2012 2009 2012 2012

Ease of making Business 86 82 71 22 117 117 90 56 94

Get downing a concern 67 61 12 6 165 168 105 47 65

Covering with building permits 170 183 152 61 169 171 167 173 127

Registering Property 62 118 88 49 66 73 123 108 60

Geting Credit 12 24 43 24 21 24 43 8 51

Protecting Investors 14 16 88 17 172 174 24 29 68

Paying Taxes 143 152 27 26 45 46 139 108 99

Trading across boundary lines 77 76 64 67 129 131 125 34 105

Enforcing Contracts 89 85 70 60 157 157 130 133 61

Closing a concern 181 64 129 55 31 31 42 52 81

Table 4: Doing Business

Beginning: Doing Business Report 2009, Making Business Report 2011, Making Business Report 2012

( Countries are ranked on the easiness of making concern 1 = best performing artist, 183= worst performing artist. A high ranking means that the environment is more favorable for get downing and runing a concern. Data for Kosovo for 2009 are non available )

The last decennary has offered progressively improved concern environment in all four states. The economic growing slowed down from 2008 onwards because of the planetary fiscal crisis which of class affected the ALMANOKO states every bit good. In the four states, the mean GDP growing in 2011 was 2,9 % . The euro-zone stagnancy, preponderantly in Italy and Greece, which are the two most of import commercial spouses, has caused a shrinking in touristry, trade, exports, and remittals from workers abroad.

Two really of import phases in the development of these states, which many foreign investors see as chances when make up one’s minding to put are:

a ) the unfinished denationalization procedure, and

B ) the late started procedure of constructing the state ‘s substructure.

The denationalization procedure started in the early 90 ‘ with the low graduated table State Owned Enterprises ( SOE ) . Since 2007 these states advanced with the denationalization of the large unprofitable province owned companies that have been a weight to the public fundss, but at the same clip an plus sale brings an addition in grosss.

Having said this, there are still concerns about the hazards that the part carries. A typical issue in all four states is the non-coordination between governmental bureaus and bureaucratism. Serious concerns remain about the big ratio of informal economic system, corruptness and organised offense webs. The high unemployment degrees and the deficiency of substructure are seen by many companies as attractive chances instead than hazards.