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Balkans: Kosovo, Albania strongest growing economies 2019-21

In the area challenges to medium-long-term growth 'formidable'

28 March, 10:59
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, MARCH 28 - The fastest growing economies in Central, East and Southeast Europe in the period 2019-21 will be Kosovo, Albania and Moldova, according to a new forecast of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW). Kosovo will record a growth of 4.1% in 2019, 4.0% in 2020 and 3.9% in 2021, while Albanian economy will grow 3.8% both in 2019 and 2020 and of 3.4% in 2021, the portal SeeNews reported, adding that Moldova will register a growth of 3.8% this year, 3.6% in 2020 and 3.5% in 2021.

In general, however, "the boom experienced by much of the region in 2017-18 is over, and growth rates will mostly trend lower in the next 2-3 years" with the slowest growth to be expected in Russia, Belarus and Turkey, WIIW said in a statement, adding that weaker global growth, US protectionism, Brexit, ongoing problems in the eurozone and severe labor shortage are among the major threats for the region.

Moreover, the entire region faces medium- and long term challenges, WIIW added. Among them, the Institute said, "demographic decline unprecedented in peacetime, attacks on the quality and independence of institutions, a lack of preparedness for the new digital economy, and low levels of automation relative to frontrunners in Asia, North America and Western Europe." (ANSA).

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