State of the Region Report 2010

in News, Projects

The 2010 edition of the annual State of the Region Report will be released at the BDF Summit in Vilnius. It is co-sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Investment Bank.

Halldor Asgrimsson, Secretary General Nordic Council of Ministers

The 2010 edition of the annual State of the Region Report will be released at the Baltic Development Forum (BDF) Summit in Vilnius. Dr. Christian Ketels will present his analysis in a warm-up session right at the outset of the event. Further discussions of the Report will take place at a special workshop where Halldor Asgrimsson and Eva Srejber will give their views and assessment of the regional state of play.

Content of the Report

As the Baltic Sea Region is recovering from the painful consequences of the global crisis, one key question is whether we need a new and more sustainable growth model. In its first section, the State of the Region Report will – as in previous years – assess the current level of competitiveness and collaboration across the Region, and draw initial conclusions on what could be done to get the Region on a new growth path. In its second section, the Report will – based on invited contribution from leading scholars in the respective country – take a closer look at the Baltic countries and Poland. Does this part of the Baltic Sea Region need a fundamentally new policy approach to achieve sustainable growth, or is better macroeconomic policy management sufficient?

The global crisis has hit the Region hard and Christian Ketels finds that it is not a surprise “given its nature as a group of small-open economies highly linked with the global economy. Whether the recovery that is now under way will prove to be sustainable and lead to a new phase of growth, will depend on how the Region acts. Is it able to address the challenges that the crisis has put harshly into the open? The data in this year’s State of the Region Report clearly highlights the threats facing the Region, if no action is being taken. As for the Baltic countries, the State of the Region Report also identifies some of the structural changes in economic strategy that need to be made if the Baltic countries are to return to an acceptable growth path in the future”.

This year it is co-sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Investment Bank. BDF is very pleased to be working closely together with the two organizations that both have deep insight into regional cooperation and economic development in Region. The two organizations see the report closely linked to the work that they are undertaking in the region:

Secretary General Halldor Asgrimsson states: “To my mind the State of the Region Report helps put the challenges of globalization at the heart of regional cooperation. Over the last three years, the Nordic countries have defined their common globalization policies, and if the whole Baltic Sea Region is pulling in the same direction, we will all be better off; both in terms of competitiveness and economic cooperation and in terms of finding solutions to common problems. Increased competitiveness and globalization are different sides of the same coin”.

Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Eva Srejber finds that “the State of the Region Report is a very useful document that provides data for developing regional strategies. It is not least important in the context of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region”. Besides the economic analysis, “the EIB is very pleased to sponsor the report, since it also gives an overview of what is happening in the region. We need a common reference document.”

More generally, the EIB is interested in contributing to the development in the region and in finding ways to finance useful projects. The EIB´s lending volume in the Baltic Sea Region has grown from EUR 4bn in 2007 to EUR 10bn in 2009. It shows how important it is to have a coherent approach in order to address the special needs in Baltic Sea Region. The “State of the Region Report” is therefore a valuable source of information for all decision makers in the Region.