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Sustainable real exchange rates in the new EU Member States: Is FDI a mixed blessing?

  • Jan Babeck�
  • Aleš Bulíř
  • Kateřina šmídková

This study analyses the various macroeconomic opportunities and challenges created by the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the new member states. This essay focuses on the various macroeconomic opportunities and challenges created by the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the new member states (NMS). We question whether the macroeconomic performance of the NMS is furthered through the FDI's overall positive impact on the trade balance or whether it can actually worsen the performance. Our findings suggest that in some NMS the integration gain, foreseen by the financial markets, may be reflected in a sustainable appreciation of the real exchange rate. Such real appreciation is in most cases moderate enough to allow for smooth nominal convergence required for to the euro adoption. In some cases, however, this appreciation is very fast, especially in the NMS with a low net external debt and massive FDI inflows, making it challenging to fulfill the Maastricht criteria. The Maastricht criteria may be difficult to meet also in those NMS where FDI has been channeled predominantly into services, housing construction, or nontradable sectors in general. In these countries we observe increasing net external debt without a corresponding improvement in the trade balance and these economies might be required to depreciate their currencies in real terms to sustain the external balance.

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Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 368.

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Length: 71 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0368
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