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Intra-regional cooperation in the Western Balkans: under which conditions does it foster economic progress?

By Claudia Grupe and Siniša Kušić

Abstract

The main motivation for regional cooperation in the Western Balkans is provided by the EU, formulating it as conditional for the countries’ EU accession aspirations. Economically, this claim includes the establishment of regional free trade agreements (RTAs) whose direct economic effects are twofold and limited: Whereas inflows of FDI are likely to increase due to a bigger market, an increase of interregional trade will be moderate and might even stall microeconomic restructuring. To gain considerable profits from regional economic integration, transnational linkages on a microeconomic level as the emergence of cross-border alliances, joint efforts to conquer West European markets, or cooperation in R&D to enhance innovation are needed. Gains from a RTA thus will be of indirect nature: Long term profits result only from overcoming the aversions against regional partnerships and from the re-emergence of mutual trust

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, DR Balkan Peninsula
Publisher: Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:23373
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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