Specialization for Eastern Europe and Access to EC Markets
Great expectations have been built around the current European Communities (EC) trade liberalization process in favor of the five Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland, and to a lesser extent Romania. This chapter focuses on these countries and discusses a broader geographical delineation of East. An index of revealed comparative advantage for each planned economy in transition (PET) in the EC market suggests that all PETs except Czechoslovakia specialized in food and agricultural products, other raw materials, and petroleum products. Restrictions on access to EC markets constitute the major external constraint to an export expansion of Eastern products, all the more so since they have been increasing in sectors for which these countries apparently enjoy the best prospects. After the good start of 1990, 1991 signaled a turnaround in some of the EC markets for most Eastern countries, particularly so for some key sensitive sectors.