The opening up process of the central and eastern European (CEE) countries marked new beginnings in terms of greater integration of trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) with Western Europe. Adopting a two-stage out-of-sample gravity equation approach to predicting East West trade patterns, a panel data set of bilateral exports from twelve EU countries to twenty OECD partner countries is estimated over the 1992-2003 period to examine how integrated the CEE countries are with the West European countries. In general, countries which are initially less well-integrated with the EU have strongest trade potential: among the EU accession countries, the potential candidate countries look set to benefit most whereas the mixed trade ratios among the EU associated countries reflect very diverse economic structures.
Using a similar approach to project East West FDI patterns, the potential to actual ratios of FDI stocks indicate a very uneven distribution of FDI among the eleven CEE countries. The FDI stock ratios accord with patterns of regional specialisation for the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland and suggest greatest FDI potential lies with the two latest accession countries.
As the West European countries represents the CEE countries main trading partners and their main sources of FDI, the nature of the trade-direct investment relation among the group of EU OECD countries is of potential importance to the CEE countries. Merging the determinants for both trade and FDI into one model and estimating the merged model as a trade equation and as an FDI equation, the EU OECD patterns of FDI are characterised by both horizontal FDI (HFDI) and vertical FDI (VFDI). The dual role of HFDI and VFDI is supported when the general model of trade and FDI determinants is estimated using an instrumental variables method and when the additional price variables of FDI and trade are interpreted as cross-price elasticity effects.
In a competitive world, attracting more FDI to the CEE countries may not only mean catering to the traditional MNE motives, but can also depend on transition-related factors and host country policies. Using a panel data set of bilateral FDI flows from twelve EU countries to eleven CEE countries, the traditional determinants of direct investment along with the liberalisation process and infrastructure endowments are found to significantly affect FDI over the 1994-2003 period.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.