Is reindustrialization a realistic path? An empirical insight from South-Eastern Europe
The global economy has been faced with two dramatic crises (the global financial crisis and the pandemic), and it is still suffering. As an answer to the first crisis, the European Union formulated reindustrialization as a development approach, by which it wanted to strengthen its position on the world market, with the aim of manufacturing achieving a 1/5 share of the GDP. During the last decade, results have differed among the member countries, as well among the candidates for membership. Some countries have continued the trend of deindustrialization, while others have succeeded in starting reindustrialization. However, what is clear is the fact that achieving the goal defined is a challenge for all. There are economists who argue that this goal is not only unrealistic, but even not useful. The paper presents a comparative analysis exploring the development characteristics of several countries in South-Eastern Europe (SEE): Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia, using a meta-analysis in a synthesis of the results of this empirical research. It also shows a regression analysis and correlation analysis using the IBM SPSPS 28 software package. The paper analyzes whether the countries considered follow the trend of deindustrialization or reindustrialization, and it examines and tests whether a higher share of manufacturing within the GDP results in a higher rate of growth. The results show that all the countries under consideration have already fulfilled the aim of manufacturing having a 20% share of their GDP (except Montenegro). At the same time all of the countries, except two (Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia), have experienced a deindustrialization trend. The paper could be useful for policy makers in South-Eastern European Countries as well other transitory/transitional countries as they create reindustrialization policies in line with the EU industrial policy.
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