Eu/eastern Europe/central Asia : Patchy Economic Transition but Strong Growth, Commission Finds

Article excerpt

Transition progress has been uneven across ex-Soviet New Independent States (NIS), according to a new report from the European Commission. The document 'on the implementation of macro-financial assistance to third countries in 2005' says that implementation of a second phase of institutional reforms supporting markets and private enterprise is still in the early stages in several NIS.

Among the beneficiaries of EU macro-financial assistance, Moldova is said to have been "probably the one to progress most in implementing structural reforms" under a comprehensive economic growth and poverty reduction strategy. Although much remains to be done to catch up with the most advanced countries of the region, this is described as a welcome change after "several years of widespread state interference and poor governance".

In Ukraine, the report says that the genuine reform commitment of the new political authorities who came to power in early 2005 after the Orange Revolution "could not be fully translated into action owing to political uncertainties". Meanwhile, Armenia and Georgia in the South Caucasus and Tajikistan in Central Asia continued to implement adjustment and reform programmes supported by international financial institutions.

MARKED GROWTH

Economic growth in most of the NIS remained very strong in 2005, the Commission text finds - making the area the second fastest-growing region in the world behind East Asia. …