Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

Baku

Azerbaijan is a small but energy-rich country in a strategically sensitive location. Its leaders have had many choices about pathways to the future and through consistent decisions over two decades, have created a repressive oligarchic regime that is ruled by one family. How did Azerbaijan, which started on the path to political pluralism in 1992, become a corrupt state that abuses human rights and the media? Continue reading Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

Cautious Upturn in Emerging Europe Haunted by the Spectre of Uncertainty

Donald Trump

For the economies of emerging Europe, the international economic environment appears generally positive. In 2017-2018, GDP growth in the Euro area is expected to hover at around 1.7 per cent. The international financial markets have stabilised and the current economic mood is improving. Because of the global recovery, the US Fed is expected to increase interest rates further in 2017, while oil prices are likely to rise. In the EU, disbursements from the payments’ cycle of the European Structural and Investment Funds are only just beginning, indicating higher co-financed investments in the Central and Eastern European EU member states (EU-CEE) from this year onwards.

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Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

The global economic environment continues to be challenging. The ‘wounds’ inflicted by the global financial crisis of 2008 have not yet healed completely and world economic growth remains rather subdued. This particularly applies to the advanced countries and especially to the Euro Zone, which is the most important trading partner for the Eastern European countries.  Continue reading Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

The Deep Roots of Currency Crises in the Former Soviet Union

Since the end of the 1980s, when the centrally planned Soviet economic system entered the final phase of its agony, at least five rounds of region-wide macroeconomic turbulence (which led to currency crashes) have been recorded. These include: the collapse of the Soviet monetary system (1989-1993), monetary instability and high/hyperinflation in the newly established successor states of the former Soviet Union (FSU) (1992-1995), the Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) financial crisis of 1998-1999, fallout from the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the most recent crisis of 2014-2016. Furthermore, some countries have experienced individual currency crises, such as Belarus in 2000 and 2011.  Continue reading The Deep Roots of Currency Crises in the Former Soviet Union

The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

The EU has been consistently very weak in dealing with post-Soviet countries (except the Baltic states) compared with the former Communist countries of Central Europe and Southeastern Europe. The latter knew exactly where they wanted to be after 1989: part of the Euro-Atlantic constellation. Joining the EU and NATO was their goal. It was about coming home to a reunited Europe. Continue reading The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016 Resume For Emerging Europe

Almost every single economy in emerging Europe implemented at least one reform in the last year to improve their business environment. In consequence, as many as 16 economies in the region are featured in the Top 50 of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report. Emerging Europe speaks to Rita Ramalho, Manager of the World Bank–IFC Doing Business, who has compiled a resume about the emerging Europe region especially for us, about how the reforms introduced have helped make doing business easier across the region. Continue reading World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016 Resume For Emerging Europe