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Conference
"Achieving sustainable growth in Southeast Europe: Macroeconomic policies, structural reforms, socio-political support, and a sound financial system"

Bank of Greece-University of Oxford (SEESOX) Conference, 11 February 2011

Welcome address by George A. Provopoulos, Governor, Bank of Greece

Keynote address by Erik Berglöf, Chief Economist, EBRD
Recovery and Reform - Presentation

Session I: Macroeconomic policy challenges and public sector reforms in SEE countries
Continued efforts at fiscal consolidation are likely to be needed to keep fiscal deficits and public debt under control in the SEE countries, especially in light of less favourable growth prospects and the longer term effects of population ageing. To avoid undesirable effects on growth and poverty, such fiscal consolidation efforts will need to involve improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of public spending as well as of the tax system and its administration.

Chair: Yannis S. Costopoulos, Chairman, Alpha Bank

Speakers:*

Dubravko Mihaljek, Head of Emerging Markets, BIS
"Outlook for external financing of the public sector in Southeast Europe" - Presentation

Paul Mylonas, Chief Economist, National Bank of Greece
"SEE-5 & Turkey: Macro Challenges" - Presentation

Bob Traa, Senior Resident Representative in Greece, IMF

David Vines, Professor, Oxford University
Presentation

Discussant: Emmanuel Zervoudakis, Director-Adviser, Bank of Greece


Session II: Structural reform challenges in SEE countries

To improve their growth prospects in the post-crisis environment, SEE countries will need to reorient their production towards higher value-added tradable goods. This will require measures to further improve the functioning of the labour and product markets so as to attract investment and raise productivity.

Chair: George Tavlas, Director-General, Bank of Greece

Speakers:*

Heather Gibson, Director-Adviser, Bank of Greece
"Structural Reform, Productivity and Growth: the case of Greece" - Presentation

T. Anastasatos, Senior Economist, Eurobank EFG Group
"Structural Reform challenges in SEE countries" - Presentation

Alan Paic, Acting Head, OECD Investment Compact for SEE
"Enhancing South East Europe Competitiveness through innovation and human capital development" - Presentation

Peter Weiss, Resident Representative in Greece, DG ECFIN, European Commission
"Improving the business environment in Southeast Europe: achievements and challenges" Presentation

Discussant: Peter Sanfey, Lead Economist, EBRD


Session III: Building social/political support for reform in SEE countries
In most SEE countries, the recent economic crisis has aggravated public feelings towards governments and the state, with the rise in unemployment and falling incomes. For reforms to be sustainable, public support is essential. This will, in turn, require that the reforms be perceived to be both fair and effective, contributing to a more efficient state and leading to growth with broadly shared benefits.

Chair: Thanos Veremis, Professor, University of Athens

Speakers:*

Georgy Ganev, Programme Director for Economic Research, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia
"The many unknowns of SEE societies’ attitudes towards reforms" - Presentation

Gerald Knaus, Chairman, European Stability Initiative

Discussant: Othon Anastasakis, Director SEESOX, Oxford University


Session IV: Growth and the financial system

The role of the financial systems in SEE countries in the run-up to the financial crisis, including their contribution to growth; how the financial systems in SEE countries have weathered the crisis and the key factors explaining different country experiences; and, looking ahead, envisaged reforms to ensure that the financial systems will support sustainable growth in the SEEs.

Chair: George A. Provopoulos, Governor, Bank of Greece

Speakers:*

Ardian Fullani, Governor, Bank of Albania
"Achieving sustainable growth in SEE: Macroeconomic policies, structural reforms, socio-political support, and a sound financial system" - Presentation

Ivan Iskrov, Governor, Bulgarian National Bank
"Growth and the Financial System: Lessons from Emerging Europe with a focus on Bulgaria"
Speech

Cristian Popa, Deputy Governor, National Bank of Romania
"Growth, Recession and the Banking System: A Before-and-After Perspective on Romania"
Presentation

Dejan Šoškic, Governor, National Bank of Serbia
"The New Growth Model for Serbia: Monetary and Fiscal Policy Challenges" - Presentation

Alexey V. Ulyukaev, First Deputy Chairman, Bank of Russia

Durmu Yilmaz, Governor, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey
"CENTRAL BANK OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY: Growth and Financial System" - Presentation

Discussant: Max Watson, Oxford University


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