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Is There A Structural Improvement In The Merchandise Exports Of The Balkan Countries In The Period 2000-2012?


  • Goran Nikolić


The value of indicators of the similarity of Balkan countries’ exportand import structuresto those of developed countries grew only mildly, which indicates that the unfavourable structure of exports has been retained. While similarity coefficients increased in the period until and including 2012, they failed to reach a critical turning point as in advanced European countries in transition. In practically all Balkan economies, since 2000 the technological intensity and the factor intensity of foreign trade have changed toward an increased share of highly-processed products, but the share of skill-intensive manufactures remained almost two times smaller than in developed economies. An aggravating factor was the continual strong double-digit growth of exports in most Balkan countries, which ‘forced’ exports based on the existing inappropriate structure and prevented a change in export structure. Balkan countries would have to attract FDI in export sectors that are capital- or skilled-labour-intensive. A targeted industrial policy and sector- and firm-level strategies are necessary to give momentum to a shift towards technology-intensive activities, associated with higher spillover effects. It is realistic to expect that the evolution of the economic system through restructuring would additionally improve the still unfavourable structural characteristics of Balkan countries’ exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Goran Nikolić, 2013. "Is There A Structural Improvement In The Merchandise Exports Of The Balkan Countries In The Period 2000-2012?," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 58(196), pages 99-132, January –.
  • Handle: RePEc:beo:journl:v:58:y:2013:i:196:p:99-132

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joze P. Damijan & Matija Rojec & Maja Ferjancic, 2008. "Growing export performance of transition economies: EU market access versus supply capacity factors," LICOS Discussion Papers 20208, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    2. Uwe Dulleck & Neil Foster-McGregor & Robert Stehrer & Julia Wörz, 2004. "Dimensions of Quality Upgrading in CEECs," wiiw Working Papers 29, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    3. Athanasoglou, Panayiotis & Backinezos, Constantina & Georgiou, Evangelia, 2010. "Export performance, competitiveness and commodity composition," MPRA Paper 31997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Nuno Crespo & Maria Paula Fontoura, 2007. "Integration of CEECs into EU Market: Structural Change and Convergence," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45, pages 611-632, September.
    5. Luca De Benedictis & Lucia Tajoli, 2003. "Economic integration, similarity and convergence in the EU and CEECs trade structures," KITeS Working Papers 148, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2003.
    6. Jorg Mayer & Adrian Wood, 2001. "South Asia's Export Structure in a Comparative Perspective," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 5-29.
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    More about this item


    Balkan countries; similarity coefficients; skill-intensive manufactures; exports; imports; structure; 2000-2012; EU; U.S.;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods


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