McKinsey - A new dawn: Reigniting growth in Central and Eastern Europe - December 2013 …
McKinsey - A new dawn: Reigniting growth in Central and Eastern Europe - December 2013
From the early 1990s until the onset of the global financial crisis, in 2008, the economies of Central and Eastern Europe established a record of growth and economic progress that few regions have matched. Emerging from decades of socialism, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia became standout performers in the global economy. Their inherent strengths were unleashed as state-owned industries were privatized and labor reforms implemented, attracting a flood of capital and foreign direct investment that drove productivity improvements and per capita GDP growth.
Yet these economies—like the United States and Western Europe—have struggled to regain momentum since the end of the recession. Despite their underlying intact strengths, such as highly educated yet inexpensive labor forces, they need to modify their economic models to restore the 4 to 5 percent annual growth rates of the precrisis years. The region must emphasize investment-led growth, expand high-value-added exports, and increase both foreign direct investment and domestic savings. For this strategy to succeed, the nations of Central and Eastern Europe will also need to build the foundation for growth, including infrastructure improvements, accelerated urbanization, regulatory reforms, institution building, investments in labor-force skills, and efforts to encourage R&D and innovation. In addition, these economies must address the aging of the workforce by raising the labor-participation rate of women and younger workers.