The Governor of the National Bank, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska participated in the first of the two panel discussions at the 8th European Central Bank (ECB) conference on central, eastern and south-eastern European countries (CESEE). This panel discussion followed immediately after the address of the President of the ECB, Mario Draghi and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde. The conference was chaired by the Vice President of the ECB, Luis de Guindos and was dedicated to the challenges that the CESEE countries face in context of global trade tensions. Key issues were discussed regarding changes in the global trade landscape reflecting the increased protectionist measures and impact they have on the economies of the countries of this region, in which growth is largely is driven by exports and is often supported by their involvement in the global production chains.
“Countries in the CEE region are small and open economies with a high level of trade and financial integration with the rest of the world, and above all with the European Union, which suggests the possibility of transferring external shocks, including trade shocks in them. However, although risks are present and can be realized, no significant effects of the slowdown in global trade have been noticed so far in the region.” - emphasized among others Angelovska Bezhoska in her speech.
The emphasis within the discussion was placed on the necessary changes in the models of economic growth, in order to reduce economy susceptibility to shocks in the external environment, such as greater focus on investments to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the economies, striving for growth driven from innovations and growth that will based on greater regional trade integration, which is particularly important for small economies.
Separate attention was paid to the channels through which unfavorable external developments may be transferred to the domestic economy, whereby the governor of our central bank pointed out that it is not only the trade channel that could lead to lower exports, but that adverse effects can be also felt through the channel of reduced confidence of investors, which can lead to smaller capital flows in the regions, as well as through tightening the financial market conditions.
Besides Angelovska Bezhoska, the Governor of the Bank of Slovenia, Boštjan Vasle, the Director of the Economic Department of the European Investment Bank, Deborah Revoltella, the Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Sergei Guriev and the Director-General of Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission also participated in the panel discussion of the ECB conference. They agreed that the policies for maintaining macroeconomic stability should be continued, as well as structural policies that may increase the long-term potential for economic growth and reduce the vulnerability of the economies.
The second panel discussion was dedicated to the responses of CESEE monetary policies to financial shocks. It was chaired by Benoît Cœuré, from the Executive Board of ECB, and governors of several central banks and representatives of the IMF and World Bank also participated.
Among the speakers at this edition of the significant traditional ECB conference, Angelovska Bezhoska was the only senior central banker of a country that is not yet a member of the European Union (EU). The invitation addressed to her for active participation in one of the two panel discussions is another confirmation that the European central banking community recognizes and values the activities that our central bank undertakes by following the path towards the European System of Central Banks.
Governor Angelovska Bezhoska used her participation in the conference, held yesterday in Frankfurt, for separate meetings with senior ECB officials and colleagues from central banks of EU countries.
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