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Monday 19.02.2018 | Name days: Zane, Zuzanna

Norwegian economist: Baltic States should seriously work on improving demography

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn order for Baltic States to be able to continue their economic development in the future and create better climate for business development, they should seriously improve their demographic indexes, which, according to the latest estimates, could create a serious lack of skilled workers, as noted by DNB macro-economist from Norway Knut Magnussen.

The expert has noted that progress and high economic indexes may yet decline in spite of rapid economic development demonstrated by Baltic States after the end of the crisis. This is because residents continue to leave their home countries to search for a better life abroad. The growing average age of the population also contributes to the decline of able-bodied population. Magnussen presented a not a very optimistic picture based on the example of Latvia’s neighbour – Estonia. According to outlooks, in 2016 55% of residents of Estonia will consist of people who are no longer able to work.

In regard to the strong sides of the Baltic region, the expert praised the ability of the three countries to provide significant support to different economic areas, including the attraction and protection of investors, creation of new businesses, securing the completion of contracts and resolution of insolvency processes and successful foreign trade.

Even in the Ease of Doing Business 2014 of the World Bank Baltic States have managed to demonstrate high results – Lithuania is on the 24th place, Latvia is on the 23rd and Estonia is on the 17th. DNB Group’s economist has also mentioned Baltic States’ ability to overcome the crisis. Nevertheless, he also mentioned the high unemployment and inflation indexes still present in the region.

He especially emphasized that current GDP indexes in all three Baltic States are already close to their pre-crisis levels. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for inflation and unemployment levels, which remain higher than those of the pre-crisis period. The expert also notes that current estimates suggest GPD of Baltic States could reach 3.5% – 4% in the near future, which is not bad. It is, however, insufficiently high to achieve an average EU level.

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