UNCTAD: Foreign investment in new EU members to grow

Foreign direct investment in Central and Eastern Europe increased by 15 per cent in 2002 and is set to continue growing as the region joins the EU in 2004, according to UNCTAD.

According to the World investment report, released by the United Nations Conference on Investment and Development (UNCTAD) on 4 September 2003, foreign direct investment (FDI) in central and eastern Europe increased by 15 per cent in 2002, reaching the record value of 29 billion dollars. The region has escaped the global economic slow-down for the second consecutive year and is expected to continue the trend in 2003. UNCTAD forecasts further growth of FDI in central and eastern Europe in 2003, reaching 30 billion dollars because of investors' confidence and perception of the region as stable and promising for their investments. EU membership is expected to have a positive effect on investment in central and eastern Europe.

There are substantial regional differences and foreign investment decreased in 10 out of 19 central and eastern European countries in 2002. Investment increased significantly in the countries that continued with the privatisation process: in the Czech Republic (9,3 billion dollars in 2002 compared to 5.6 billion in 2001), in Slovakia (4 billion dollars in 2002 compared to 1.6 billion in 2001), in Slovenia (1.9 billion dollars in 2002 compared to 0.5 billion in 2001). On the contrary, FDI decreased in Poland (4.1 billion dollars in 2002 compared to 5.7 billion in 2001) and in Hungary (0.9 billion dollars in 2002 compared to 2.4 billion in 2001).

 

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