Western Balkans need faster growth to catch up with EU.
Vienna: A new World Bank report revealed it will take as many as six decades for income levels in the Western Balkans to catch up with those of the European Union (EU) if economies in the region continue to grow at the average speed achieved between 1995 and 2015.
It looks at how Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia - the six countries of the Western Balkans - can speed up economic growth and achieve faster income convergence with the EU.
"In recent years, the Western Balkan countries have made strides in reforming public finances and rekindling economic growth, but citizens may not yet feel the benefits of this progress," said Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Director for the Western Balkans. "Focus on structural reforms can speed up economic growth and boost livelihoods so that income levels can catch-up with those in the European Union."
Reforms and macroeconomic stability that can enable average growth rates of 5 percent a year would allow the Western Balkans to converge with the EU in just two decades, instead of six, notes the Western Balkans: Revving Up the Engines of Growth and Prosperity report, launched today in Vienna.