Baltic States and Eastern Europe facing the global economic crisis 2008-2009

On November 26, 2010, CASE Belarus experts, Aleś Alachnovič and Sierž Naŭrodski, took part in an international scientific seminar titled “Baltic States and Eastern Europe facing the global economic crisis 2008-2009. Consequences for Poland” at the Warsaw School of Economics (Poland).

Initiator and author of the seminar was Prof. Eufemia Teichmann while for the organization responsible was the Department of Economies of Baltic States and Eastern Europe of the Warsaw School of Economics.

The paper, presented by Aleś Alachnovič and Sierž Naŭrodski, analyses the impact of the global crisis on the Belarusian economy in 2008-2009. Belarus experienced a strong slowdown – the economic growth fall rapidly from 10% in 2008 to 0,2% in 2009. The banking system remained stable, while the significance of the global financial market was irrelevant for Belarus. The crisis affected the economy mainly through the foreign trade channel. The decrease in revenues of export-oriented enterprises resulted in decreasing of public budget revenues, lower wage growth in the economy, shortening of working hours in many large state-owned enterprises and rising inventory. Under pressure of the crisis’ negative effects and the deteriorating of the trade relations with Russia, the Belarusian government has decided to introduce slow but consistent free market reforms. Moreover, unlike many developed countries, Belarus has decided to tighten the monetary policy and reduce public spending.
The second part of the paper presents a broader view of economic ties between the Polish and Belarus before and after the financial and economic crisis in 2008-2009. The authors assessed the impact of the three selected scenarios for the size and structure of bilateral trade and the Polish investments in Belarus. The evaluation results show that in each of the three options, there is potential for growth in trade and capital flows.

The set of papers devoted to the discussion of selected aspects of the 2008-2009 economic crisis in Eastern Europe and Baltic States was published in «Economic Crisis 2008-2009 in Eastern Europe and Baltic States» (ed. Krzysztof Falkowski), Warsaw School of Economics Publishing, Warsaw 2011.


The program of the seminar:

Session I. Economies of the Baltic states in light of the global recession 2008-2009. Assessment of influence for the bilateral relations with Poland (session was held in English)

Moderator: Prof. Eufemia Teichmann

Panel discussion with:
— Mrs. Kristine Medne — deputy ambassador of Latvia to Poland;
— Mr. Priit Masing — second secretary of the Embassy of Estonia to Poland;
— Mr. Miglė Tuskienė — director of the Department for UE of the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania.

Session II. Economies of Eastern Europe in light of a global recession 2008-2009. Assessment of influence for the bilateral relations with Poland (session was held in Polish)

Moderator: Prof. Marzenna Weresa

Introductory speeches:
1. Institutional determinants of economic crisis 2008-2009 in countries of Eastern Europe. Implications for relations with Poland and Baltic states — Dr. Krzysztof Falkowski (Warsaw School of Economics);
2. Belarus facing the economic crisis 2008-2009. The impact on relations with Poland – M.A. Sierž Naŭrodski (CASE Belarus), B.A. Aleś Alachnovič (CASE Belarus);
3. Shifts in trade and investment cooperation of Poland with Baltic states and Eastern Europe in light of global recession – M.A. Łukasz Ambroziak (IBRKiK, Warsaw School of Economics), M.A. Marzenna Błaszczuk-Zawila (IBRKiK);
4. Impact of global financial crisis and economic recession 2008-2009 on the transport sector of the Eastern Baltic region and neighboring countries – Dr. Jana Pieriegud (Warsaw School of Economics);
5. Impact of economic recession on shifts in European gas markets. Implications for Poland – M.A. Marcelina Gołębiewska (PGNiG);
6. Energy resources as an instrument of Russian foreign policy in the context of the global economic crisis 2008-2009 — Dr. Stanisław Cios (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland)

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