The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper looks at the progress in transition and the geographic diversification of trade, focusing on two issues--the degree of trade openness and trade integration--for a sample of countries in transition. It concludes that about half of the group of countries sampled are becoming as open as similar market economies, but that many others remain relatively closed. Geographic diversification (to the European Union) is found to be greater the closer is geographic proximity and the more advanced the country is with reforms. The analysis is then extended, in an illustrative way, to show how much larger would be the share of exports to the EU if structural reforms were more ambitious.