EBRD: Eastern Europe continues to outpace world economy

In a recent report, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development points out the fast growth rates of CEEC economies but notes the “danger of marginalisation of some countries”.

The economies of Central and Eastern Europe will continue to outpace the world economy in 2003, says the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in its latest Transition Report.

However, the EBRD also warns that the EU's enlargement might result in the economic marginalisation of those Eastern European states which will not be included in the Union. "There is a danger that EU expansion may reinforce the marginalisation of some countries [of the former Soviet Union] so that they remain on the fringes of the international economy with relatively little foreign direct investment and little opportunity for legal migration," says the EBRD in its annual economic review of the former Communist states (published on 18 November).

The report forecasts growth in the "transition countries" to reach 4.7 per cent in 2004, out-pacing the world economy for the third year in succession. EBRD expects the biggest increases to be posted in the former Soviet Union. Russia is expected to gain 6.2 per cent. The Central European and the Baltic states are predicted to achieve growth of 3.3 per cent, and South-East Europe 3.9 per cent.

However, the EBRD warns that without improvements in administration, the acceding post-Communist states will not benefit fully from EU membership because "much of the money from Brussels will be wasted or will disappear through corruption".


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