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Competitiveness and Private Sector Development: Eastern Europe and South Caucasus 2011

Competitiveness Outlook

image of Competitiveness and Private Sector Development: Eastern Europe and South Caucasus 2011

With a total population of over 75 million people and a strategic location between wealthy trading partners, with Russia to the east and a vast market of EU citizens to the west, the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus (EESC) region is attractive as a destination for investment and trade. It is endowed with significant human and resources ranging from the black soil in Ukraine that produces some of the best wheat in the world, to energy reserves in Azerbaijan and unexplored water resources in several countries. However, in spite of recent growth – an average of almost 8% of GDP during 1998-2008 – the region’s productivity levels remain 77% below the world average. The OECD Eastern Europe and South Caucasus Competitiveness Outlook examines the key policies that would increase competitiveness in the countries of the region through developing human capital, improving access to finance for SMEs and creating more and better investment opportunities.

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Foreword

Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus (EESC) is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. The six countries in the region are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Like its neighbours to the east in Central Asia, these countries have been faced with the challenge of transitioning from centrally planned to market-based economies. In order to improve growth and development perspectives, the governments of Eastern Europe and South Caucasus have already enacted several waves of far-reaching economic reforms and strengthened ties to the European Union and its single market. These policies were rewarded with double-digit growth from 2002-2008 and a boom in FDI inflows to the region.

English

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