This seminar will discuss the current policy challenges of the economies of the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in the light of their severe downturns from demand-centred booms of the last few years, and the need to re- establish sustainable growth paths.
Presentations from a mix of speakers from the Baltic regions and international organisations as well as from DG ECFIN in European Commission itself will be given over a day divided into four thematic session and a concluding panel discussion.
The first session will survey where the Baltic economies now stand in the light of their recent booms and sharp slowdowns, severely aggravated by the global economic crisis. A key issue here is the progressive and serious loss of competitiveness in each of the economies and the prospects to re-establish competitiveness given the chosen exchange rates regimes. The second session will examine the role of financial services. Sharply increased levels of financial intermediation have been a key characteristic of the recent expansions but also a major contributor to the cumulative imbalances via intensive lending to the non-tradeables sectors. This session will focus on what can be expected in terms of financial sector adjustment in the medium terms and how this will impact on the real economies. The third session will look at the role of public finances: the extent the structure of expenditure and taxes aids or hampers growth and job creation and sectoral adjustment. It should also deal with the stance of fiscal policy, the degree to which it may have aggravated the imbalances in the overheating period, and the most appropriate stance to be followed in the current downturns. The fourth session will analyse the drivers of growth and catching-up and the type of policies needed to restructure and modernise the economies in order to strengthen growth potential.
A panel discussion will conclude the seminar and focus on the policy challenges.
25th March 2009, Berlaymont Building, Room "Walter Hallstein", rue de la Loi 200, Brussels.
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For any queries, please contact the organising team by fax (+32-2-299 35 23).
Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs
Economies of the Member States I
Rue de la Loi 200