EU prospects boost reform in south-east Europe

OECD Observer

The prospect of joining the EU is acting as a powerful catalyst for improving the investment climate in south-east Europe, but a number of countries need to make faster progress on economic reform.

This recommendation from the latest Investment Compact Monitoring Report was presented at a meeting of the Project Team of the Investment Compact for South-East Europe, a key component of the Stability Pact, held at OECD headquarters in Paris in May 2003.

Bulgaria and Romania have already met policy targets ahead of schedule, and all other countries are making progress, the monitoring report found, with Albania and Montenegro showing a significantly improved performance. However, further efforts are needed across the region, particularly in the areas of competition, corporate governance and reducing administrative barriers affecting investment and business operations.

In 2002, the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the region totalled around €3.8 billion, a 10% drop from the peak reached in 2001, but a good performance considering the amplitude of the global downturn in FDI.

A project team, co-chaired by Austria, Romania and the OECD, is charged with identifying key priorities for policy reform as well as concrete actions to boost private sector investment and improve the business environment for investors in the Investment Compact countries. Ministers from south-east Europe will meet to discuss these issues in Vienna on 10-11 July 2003.

©OECD Observer No 238, July 2003

Economic data


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