Angelovska-Bezhoska: Increasing trade and financial integration to raise the level of development

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Through trade, financial and technological integration, globalization in the last four decades has contributed to accelerated economic growth, especially in less developed economies, including the countries of the Western Balkans. The trade integration of the region with the EU has increased significantly, and especially of our economy, whose trade integration reached 158 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is the highest in the Western Balkans and the fifth largest in the region of Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Governor Anita Angelovska-Bezhoska stressed at the panel discussion “Geopolitics, policy-making and finance” during the third annual Skopje Economic Finance Forum (SEFF) under the theme “Europe – YES, Europe – NOW”.

The governor referred to the benefits of trade and financial integration, which act as a catalyst for economic growth and convergence, through the spillover of knowledge, technology, and finance.

“Income convergence in the region and in our case in the last two decades has increased on average by nearly 20 percentage points of GDP, or almost twice. However, the income gap is still large – our income is still only 40 percent of the EU average. If we stay at the historical speed of economic growth, it will take us about 40 years to get closer to the EU average”, warned Angelovska-Bezhoska.

 

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