Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe Round Table on Regional Cooperation in SEE
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
Belgrade 3rd October, 2005
Most promising market in Europe
SEE cover an area about the size of Germany and Italy combined Population (55 million) comparable to Italy or CEB countries Dynamic growth, regional integration, as well as integration into the EU, accelerate catching-up process with the EU and CEB countries 1990s as lost decade, first decade of 21st century could become a decade of SEE Potentially, the most promising market in Europe political stability, faster economic reforms, improved legal framework and greater legal security being crucial prerequisites in the medium-term
SEE integrating into the EU
Accession to the EU high on the agenda of 8 SEE countries
Bulgaria and Romania expected to accede in 2007 or 2008 5 Western Balkan countries in SAP concluded or negotiating SAA Moldova – part of the EU “Wider Europe” initiative
EU and the Balkans
Stabilization and Association Process presents a long term policy of EU towards this region aiming to: Support structural reforms of these countries in order to prepare them for EU membership, Strengthen the stability in the region through the association process, Putting emphasis is on trade policy harmonization, improved border management and administrative capacity building, Signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement.
Stabilization and Association Agreement
Stabilization and Association Agreement is modified according to the specific conditions of each Western Balkans country. The country which signs the SAA is being recognized as a potential EU candidate. SAAs have to be ratified by the country in question, the EU and all of its member states. The aims of the SAA:
Political stabilization Development of regional cooperation Establishing closer links and dialog with WB countries.
With the entry of 10 new members in the EU in 2004, the agenda for the next round of enlargement focuses on candidates from South Eastern Europe.
SEE countries - relations with EU
Romania – candidate for membership. Bulgaria – candidate for membership. Croatia – candidate for membership. Macedonia – submitted the candidature. Albania – negotiations on SAA. Bosnia and Herzegovina – Feasibility study. Serbia and Montenegro – Feasibility study (negotiations on SAA – scheduled for 5. October). Moldova – Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
Regional organizations/initiatives in SEE
SEECP - South East Europe Cooperation Process Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe SECI - South East Europe Cooperation Initiative BSEC - Black Sea Economic Cooperation CEI - Central European Initiative AII - Adriatic – Ionian Initiative DCP - Danube Cooperation Process CEFTA - Central European Free Trade Area
General characteristics of regional initiatives
Main goal: regional cooperation and EU integration. Need for building up "regional perspective" during preaccession period . Developing regional ownership – mobilizing initiatives coming from the region – needed regional leadership. Positive influence. Insufficient coordination. Overlap of initiatives. Lack of financial resources. Wide range of activities. Top down character.
South Eastern Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina Serbia and Montenegro
Macroeconomic stability sustained Early transition phase completed Structural changes initiated Private sector accounts about 62% of GDP in SEE – vibrant source of growth and employment Privatization is well advanced Labor costs well below those in CEB Initiated institutional reforms critical for private sector development, integration into the EU and long-term prosperity
Growing business opportunities
Robust growth Economic and political stability is returning Considerable foreign investment inflow Continuing improvement of business climate Increased access to trade, domestic finance and foreign investment – expanding opportunities International community important catalyst for other investors through selected assistance Private sector in SEE – engine of growth
SEE economic forecast for 2005
GDP growth remains strong - the average rate of seven SEE countries is expected to be around 5%. Domestic demand remains the main engine of economic growth in the region. Foreign demand is weak and the growth of exports will be slower in 2005, compared to the previous year.
SEE economic forecast for 2005
In 2005 the current account balances will improve, especially in those economies where CA deficits are the highest (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro). Slight improvement is expected in most SEE countries regarding the unemployment rate due to the strong economic growth and new investments by foreign investors. But, progress in privatization process may have a dampening effect on the employment in these countries.
Insufficient harmonization with the European standards. High share of black economy. Inadequate competitiveness. Lack of working capital and credit support. Unsatisfactory infrastructure. Problem regarding trade balances and budgets. Corruption and criminal. Small economies. Slow pace of reforms. High unemployment. Brain drain – emigration of young and qualified experts.
General characteristics of SEE economy
Foreign support and investments needed
Further recovery and growth largely depend on foreign financial inflows and know-how Cumulative net FDI to the region about US$ 32 billion in 1989-2003 (US$ 125 billion in CEB) 450 multinational companies in the region (of which 50% are present in more than one SEE country Over 550.000 jobs The Regional Network of Foreign Investors Councils in SEE
Trade cooperation in the SEE
Small share of mutual trade in the overall trade with the world.
Average 13%, varies from 10 – 20%.
High percentage of trade with EU.
Average from 50 – 80% Italy and Germany dominate.
Main barriers for doing business in SEE
Starting up is still costly and time consuming Ineffective implementation of regulations Corruption and red type Underdeveloped financial intermediation and lack of access to sources of finance Restrictive and poor quality labor legislation Size of informal sector
Why to invest in the Balkans?
Low cost area (labor costs, taxes) High profits Low competition Preferential trade regime with the EU Growing bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the region (FTA, Regional Energy Market, REBIS)
Network of 29 bilateral Free Trade Agreements (8 countries). Serbia is in the middle of the SEE Free Trade Area – duty free access to a market of 60 mill people. Serbia and Montenegro is the only country outside the CIS that has an FTA with the Russian Federation – market of 150 million people. Identification and elimination of non-tariff barriers. Establishment of a multilateral free trade agreement.
Trade Liberalization Trade Liberalization
Commonwealth of the Independent States
Crossroads of 2 Pan-European Transportation Corridors