COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER 21
The chapter by Jarko Fidrmuc, Christian Helmenstein and Peter Huber analyses one of the most interesting questions from the point of view of the present and future of the transforming economies in Eastern and Central Europe, namely, the pattern of their ‘insertion’ into the international economy in the first years of transformation. Their analysis is based on the case of Austria which, besides Germany, has the closest and most intensive trade links with the countries in question. The chapter thoroughly examines the different characteristics of the process of changing trade patterns and presents an overall picture, with rather optimistic conclusions based on the developments of the first five years after the beginning of the reform process. The methodological problems of this type of statistical analysis, which are burdened with additional difficulties when transforming economies are analysed, are mentioned by the authors, so I do not want to add other elements to this list of problems.