While Romania and Bulgaria have specialized in traditional sectors, Central Europe has increased its specialization in highly human capital-intensive sectors, thanks mainly to road and rail transport, rubber and plastic products and household appliances. The formerly Communist countries have become an integral part of the European manufacturing system and play a crucial role in the production process. As regards technology-intensive sectors, on the other hand...
The machinery and tooling industry, particularly electrical and optical components, is growing substantially. Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and all the transport-related sectors are also doing well and the paper, publishing and printing industries are likewise promising. The most promising increase in the tertiary sector can be seen in communications, insurance companies and corporate financial services. The labour-intensive sectors are however declining.
In the new Europe, the level of household debt relative to GDP is still low compared to that of the euro zone. However, there is a very strong growth trend. There are many concerns, even if economists consider households’ higher propensity to get into debt a normal phase of the transition process. In fact, when income is insufficient, debt helps to keep interest rates low.
The former director-general raises the alarm: the proliferation of bilateral and regional agreements is changing the dynamics of world trade and is making multilateral negotiation more difficult. The consequences, especially for the world’s poor and developing countries, could be disastrous. Industrialized countries would also have a lot to lose. And as for Europe, Renato Ruggiero sees signs of recovery. Angela Merkel, for example...
The media suffers from myopia. It takes the news item of the day, turns it into an "event" and blows it up to the point of isolating it from earlier events or events taking place elsewhere. Politicians can either derive benefit from this distorted perspective of the reality or lose their advantage, depending on the case.
Turkey faces a dilemma. It often directs harsh rhetoric at the United States while at the same time seeking (and expecting) American-inspired solutions to many of its problems. It is atroubling paradox that incumbent Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party need to work n repairing.
The secret to a good curry lies in the right mix of spices and herbs. A delicate combination of flavours that don’t smother each other but make up the true strength of the most celebrated of Indian dishes. The negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and the European Union should produce a lucrative combination of industries and services. But the wrong amount of one or two ingredients could ruin the mixture.
On the subject of the two Italian marines currently being held in India, we publish a comment by Antonio Armellini, former Italian ambassador to India and current President of Organising Committee of the Italian Research centre for Asia and Africa.
The Vatican and Italy – two contiguous sovereign states, both led by octogenarians – have faced difficult leadership crises this year. To reform, or not to reform, that is the question that both the centuries-old Holy See and the 150 year old Italian state have to confront in 2013.
Two years after the global economic slowdown brought havoc to Central and Eastern Europe, the International Monetary Fund is back to renegotiate aid packages issued at the time. Most of the region's strapped states have bounced back, with some in better economic shape than their Western counterparts. The upturn has led some governments to reject the IMF’s latest aid terms, which gets to the heart of the tense ties between established lending organizations and smaller states that are still reluctant to cut public spending.
The objective is to get to the decisive entry into the European Union with all the papers in order. The programmed efforts towards the process of convergence will bring stability, but also the growth of the economy and the level of per capita income, creating a virtuous cycle. But labour costs, the difficulty of creating jobs and the current account deficit...
Serb Srdjan Sentic agreed to join the Kosovo government of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci as aspecial adviser, hoping to reduce tensions in the aftermath of Kosovo's 2008 independence. So far,both sides have resisted him. Serbs label him a traitor while Albanians are uneasy with his ethnic roots. Notwithstanding the hostility, he continues to work to bring the edgy communities together, putting defiant optimism ahead of all else.