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Christoph Graf

I am pleased to welcome you to this regional conference to discuss macroeconomic and monetary policies related to the effects of the eurozone’s low inflation rate and the negative interest rates. I very much welcome this opportunity to debate on links and implications of such tendencies on the Western Balkan countries. The Western Balkan countries need more technical, evidence-based, and un-politicized debate. This conference is about technical expertise feeding good policies. And it might contribute to foster the integration of the Western Balkans region

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.


This report analyses the main economic developments and achievements in the Western Balkan countries, and lays out the key macroeconomic policy challenges for the future.

Chapter 3. Financial Sector1: Deepening, Resilience, and Ongoing Challenges
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

credit correction in Western Balkan countries was not as severe as in the New Member States because the former relied more on expanding domestic deposit bases than did the latter. But the fact that the credit cycle was milder has not meant that the Western Balkan countries were able to avoid the after-effects of the crisis. The fallout from the crisis and the subsequent economic sluggishness has resulted in a surge in nonperforming loans (NPLs) in most Emerging European countries. But tepid structural reforms in the Western Balkans to address these problems head on

Mr. Zhaogang Qiao and Mr. Johannes Herderschee
The paper provides quantitative estimates of the impact of the European trade agreements on trade flows. It applies both static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. The results are useful to policymakers because new intra-European trade agreements are being negotiated. In the absence of a further expansion of the European Union, estimates of alternative policies may help to clarify the policy debate. The paper also illustrates that the performance of individual countries under the trade agreements can be explained in terms of their macroeconomic environment. The conclusions are likely to be relevant to the western Balkan countries and Ukraine.
Mr. Zhaogang Qiao and Mr. Johannes Herderschee

ACRONYMS AIC Akaika information criterion CEE countries Central and Eastern European countries comprise the 10 new member states on the continent, the western Balkan countries, Moldova and Ukraine CMAE Council for Mutual Economic Assistance EEA European Economic Area EFTA European Free Trade Association Europe Agreements Agreements between EU and selected CEE countries ( Appendix I ). EU European Union CEFTA Central European Free Trade Area ( Appendix I ) FTA