Region has "underdeveloped basic public infrastructure"
A regionally coordinated public infrastructure push and better management of projects could significantly increase per capita income in the Western Balkans.Izvor: Beta, Tanjug
This is according to the European Department of the International Monetary Fund's new report, cited by Tanjug.
"The long-term gain of real GDP per person could be as high as a 3-4 percentage points," says the analysis, written by Ruben Atoyan and Dora Benedek.
"Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have underdeveloped transportation, energy and telecommunications networks compared to the EU average. The Western Balkans are behind the European average where supporting economic development with adequate infrastructure is concerned," a statement, cited by Beta, said.
Better transportation, energy and telecommunications networks would aid the countries of the Western Balkans in boosting productivity, achieving better integration with the dynamics of world trade and making the region attractive to foreign investors.
The IMF also said that a high public debt and budget deficits in the majority of Western Balkan countries, but also the poor management of public investment were an obstacle to raising public investment.