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Inward FDI in the Western Balkans in the wake of Croatia’s EU accession

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The Western Balkans is a politically fragmented subregion, possessing moderate levels natural resources, and lagging behind the rest of Europe in terms of income. Integration into the European Union offers the only feasible perspective to overcome deep-rooted divisions, and to speed up progress on the road to prosperity. It can also act as a catalyst for more foreign direct investment inflows. However no large increase can be expected given the modest business opportunities of the subregion, and the fact that business entities have a gradualist approach to changes: certain measures are already factored into their locational decisions, while other will be acknowledged only on the longer term. Moreover, the Western Balkans needs to develop a strategy of attracting niche projects as it can not expect to divert investment on a large scale from countries in transition that are already members of the Union.

Affiliations: 1: Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva, Switzerland,


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