Reuters: EBRD report warns government transparency not improving

03:10, 13 November 2018
Economy
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REUTERS

The development bank's annual 'transition' report which scores the progress of countries in six key areas from competitiveness and resilience to the way they are governed, made for mixed reading, Reuters said.

"Although the perceived regulatory burden declined in many of the economies where the EBRD invests (between 2010-17), the perceived transparency of government policymaking did not generally improve," the report said.

There were some exceptions such as Kazakhstan, Romania and Ukraine, but there were concerns about the ability of some countries' courts and firms to be able to legally challenge domestic regulations having an impact on their businesses.

Read alsoEBRD supports sustainable agribusiness in Ukraine

The EBRD was set up in 1991 to help former Soviet bloc countries convert to capitalism, but growing eurosceptism in parts of eastern Europe has raised questions about reversals in the process.

In the longer-term picture, youth unemployment has declined, particularly in south eastern Europe, but it remains a key challenge for many countries.

Flexibility in hiring and firing practices appears to be declining in various countries and significant challenges also remain with critical infrastructure such as heating and telecoms in poorer regions.

The rest of the report looked at huge changes taking place in employment, demographics and migration in the EBRD's region, which stretches from Morocco to Mongolia in one direction and Estonia to Egypt in the other.

By 2040, labor force growth is expected to exceed population growth in only 20 percent of the world's emerging markets and EBRD countries such as Turkey could see their old-age dependency ratio rise from around 12 percent now to about 25 percent in 2040 in that time.

On top of that, in nearly all EBRD economies, the probability of jobs being automated is higher than the OECD average of 48 percent.

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