This paper discusses the first phase, to be constructed from 2015 to mid-2019, comprises a 41-kilometer section that is to provide an efficient and safe transport link between Podgorica and the poorest northern region in Montenegro. It runs through the mountainous terrain in the center of the country that is economically undeveloped. Due to its large cost (25 percent of 2017 GDP), the first phase of the highway has used up most of Montenegro’s fiscal space and will crowd out other productive spending. For the foreseeable future, the second and third parts of the highway could only be financed with concessional funds, because loans would destabilize the debt sustainability of Montenegro. The government’s main motivation for this large project is the need to improve connectivity, particularly to Europe through Serbia, boost tourism and trade, improve road safety, and strengthen national security. The highway is a part of Montenegro’s plans to integrate the Montenegrin transport network with those of neighboring countries.
This paper highlights Bulgaria’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) sector and to assess its performance in a regional perspective. A detailed and rich firm-level dataset of state-owned and private firms was compiled for this note to compare key performance indicators of SOEs to private firms in the same sector and to similar firms in Croatia and Romania for a regional comparison. In some network industries, such as energy, SOEs are heavily loss-making. Large amounts of debt have been piled up notably in the energy and transport sectors which, to the extent that it is classified outside the general government accounts, can pose significant risk to public finances in the form of contingent liabilities if the SOEs run into financial difficulties. SOE profitability and resource allocation efficiency largely lag private firms in the same sectors, even when isolating SOEs engaged in competitive market activities and hence classified outside of general government. Coupled with comparably poor output quality, these challenges have the potential to impair competitiveness and productivity across the economy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (Bah) economy started to lose steam in early 2012 as growth slowed in Europe. Intensification of the euro area crisis further affected Bin's growth outlook. However, measures such as limiting the expenditure at the central government level and targeting overall general government spending by 1 percentage point of GDP in 2013 aim to improve the economy. Comprehensive reforms of rights-based benefits are also identified, which are imperative for both medium-term fiscal sustainability and improving the functioning of labor markets.
Threats to external stability in the pre-crisis period have now been reduced substantially and foreign non-debt creating flows have declined, sufficient to support external stability. The global economic downturn has raised challenges for evaluating the countries’ fiscal stance and fiscal policy focus should be lowering support to debt sustainability, private sector development, and the currency board stability. The two entity pension funds have been under increasing financial pressures. Putting the public pension systems on a sound footing will encompass a number of complementary steps.
The development of the Croatian financial sector has faced many of the difficulties experienced by other transition countries. Recent troubles have exacted a significant macroeconomic price but the strategy implemented by the Croatian National Bank (CNB) since the approval of the new banking law promises the early resolution of the more immediate problems. GDP at constant prices, trends in total labor costs, price developments, retail inflation rates, agricultural production, consolidated central government fiscal accounts, government employment, health insurance, disability and retirement insurance, and so on are presented in detail.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes developments in Croatia’s banking sector since independence in 1991, focusing on the effects of independence, war, transition, and the bank rehabilitation process. Changes in market structure, concentration, and ownership, as well as financial performance are highlighted. The paper reviews the current legal environment governing banking operations and improvements needed to strengthen the legislative framework. Some forward-looking conclusions are presented. The paper also examines selected aspects of Croatia’s export performance.
This Background Notes paper and Statistical Appendix presents a summary of the Croatian Tax System as of August 1994. The paper discusses the experience with incomes policies in Croatia. It highlights that incomes policy has played an important role in the Croatian stabilization program as the government has pursued the twofold objective of limiting costs in the public sector and of curbing the wage-price spiral. The paper briefly reviews developments in incomes policy and recent developments in real wages. It also describes the social safety net in Croatia.