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19/11/2010 : The Czech and Slovak economies: 17 years after

The joint seminar on the Czech and Slovak economies will bring together analysts and policy makers from Czech and Slovak public institutions, academia and the private sector as well as the IMF, the ECB, the OECD and the Commission. The aim is to compare the economic situation in both countries and draw conclusions about their short-term recovery prospects and longer-term growth potential.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are economically, geographically and culturally very close. Notwithstanding many similarities, there are also important differences resulting from 17 years of independent economic policies and development. This seminar focused on both countries' macroeconomic, fiscal and structural challenges in a comparative manner and discussed a variety of topical issues such as the implications of the different currency regimes on competitiveness, fiscal consolidation strategies or differences in labour market performance.

The seminar itself was organised in three sessions with the following key topics:

  • Competitiveness of the Czech and Slovak economy in the post-crisis world: current situation and future challenges
  • Fiscal adjustment from the Czech and Slovak perspective
  • Structural policies for growth: what reforms are needed to improve the growth potential of the Czech and Slovak economy?

Each session had three key speakers: the first speaker provided a comparative overview of the relevant issues in both countries, the other two speakers discussed the topic from the Czech and Slovak perspective. Panellists then followed up with their own reactions, answering also questions from the chair and the audience.

Participation and interventions at the seminar were made under the so-called "Chatham House Rule", whereby participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker, nor that of any other participant, may be revealed. The aim of following this procedure was to encourage openness and the sharing of information.

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