The State of the Region Report 2010 – Regional Lessons from a Global Crisis has been published by the Baltic Development Forum ahead of its Annual Meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The report, the seventh in this series of annual evaluations of competitiveness and cooperation across the Baltic Sea Region, takes the Region’s economic temperature in the first year after the onslaught of the global crisis.

The report tracks different indicators of competitiveness and cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region, following the framework introduced in previous years. A special focus of this year’s report is an analysis of the longer-term economic trends in the Baltic countries and Poland.

The Baltic Sea Region has been hit disproportionally hard by the global crisis, with both labor productivity and labor mobilization dropping; the current speed of recovery is high but fragile. “While there is no reason for pessimism about the fundamental competitiveness of the Region, it is too early to call the crisis over”, says the author of the report Dr. Christian Ketels. “The drastic slowdown of the Baltic Sea Region economy is to a large degree the natural result of a global crisis hitting a group of small open economies. But the quick return of business sentiments to pre-crisis levels is not supported by economic fundamentals. Regional cooperation across the Region remains strong, but the general context is less supportive for joint action than in previous years.”

Authors from the three Baltic countries and Poland contributed to this year’s report. “The experience of these countries is a lesson of the profound positive contribution EU membership has made over the last decade, despite the painful recent crisis in the Baltic countries”, comments Dr. Ketels. “But it also reveals that following EU guidelines is not sufficient to achieve sustained gains in competitiveness. What these countries now need is a new growth strategy, taking into account their respective national opportunities and capabilities.”

The State of the Region Report, drawing on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, is authored by Dr. Christian Ketels, Principal Associate at Harvard Business School. It is for the first time that the Institute of Baltic Studies contributed officially to the preparation of this report.

See more at: Baltic Development Forum