Central Europe’s success in the transition from a command to a market economy has relied on the region’s flexible economic structure and high levels of technology-intensive FDI. South-Eastern Europe has lagged behind as a result of dragging its feet over implementing transition reforms and because –partly as a consequence of the former– few foreign investors have arrived. Political factors have been the main impediment, manifested in corruption, state capture, rigidity, or war.However, the region could overcome these political obstacles by implementing a series of policies with low political costs. This paper recommends such a portfolio of policies: creating an investor-friendly tax environment and exchange rate regime; strategically targeting particular foreign investors; implementing targeted reforms, such as introducing efficiency-improving measures in the public services; investing in human capital; and integrating with Europe, not only at the diplomatic level but also by reducing trade barriers and creating a matching infrastructure.
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