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Yugoslavia
 

Country
GDP: purchasing power parity—$25.4 billion (1998 est.) GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,300 (1998 est.) Industries: machine building (aircraft, trucks, and automobiles; tanks and weapons; electrical equipment; agricultural machinery); metallurgy (steel, aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, chromium, antimony, bismuth, cadmium); mining (coal, bauxite, nonferrous ore, iron ore, limestone); consumer goods (textiles, footwear, foodstuffs, appliances); electronics, petroleum products, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals Debt—external: $11.2 billion (1995 est.) Currency: 1 Yugoslav New Dinar (YD) = 100 paras Exchange rates: Yugoslav New Dinars (YD) per US $1—official rate: 10.0 (December 1998), 5.85 (December 1997)

Yugoslavia

The swift collapse of the Yugoslav federation in 1991 has been followed by highly destructive warfare, the destabilization of republic boundaries, and the breakup of important interrepublic trade flows. Output in Serbia and Montenegro dropped by half in 1992-93. Like the other former Yugoslav republics, it had depended on its sister republics for large amounts of energy and manufactures. Wide differences in climate, mineral resources, and levels of technology among the republics accentuated this interdependence, as did the communist practice of concentrating much industrial output in a small number of giant plants. The breakup of many of the trade links, the sharp drop in output as industrial plants lost suppliers and markets, and the destruction of physical assets in the fighting all have contributed to the economic difficulties of the republics. One singular factor in the economic situation of Serbia is the continuation in office of a government that is primarily interested in political and military mastery, not economic reform. Hyperinflation ended with the establishment of a new currency unit in June 1993; prices were relatively stable from 1995 through 1997, but inflationary pressures resurged in 1998. Reliable statistics continue to be hard to come by, and the GDP estimate is extremely rough. The economic boom anticipated by the government after the suspension of UN sanctions in December 1995 has failed to materialize. Government mismanagement of the economy is largely to blame. Also, the Outer Wall sanctions that exclude Belgrade from international financial institutions and an investment ban and asset freeze imposed in 1998 because of Belgrade's repressive actions in Kosovo have added to economic difficulties.

Comment:

Still reeling from the attrition of the last few years, Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro) is striving to function in difficult circumstances and barely succeeding. It is likely that the situation will improve in time but it will be a creeping improvement unless there is political change, enabling economic reform. Exports from Yugoslavia are still flowing and a reduced range of products can be had at attractive prices - however shipping and payment difficulties may be encountered and quality and intermittent production have damaged a number of markets. Rebuilding programmes are limited due to restricted resources - but opportunities do appear. The region has a tradition of manufactured products in a wide range of industries (unfortunately large and unreconstructed) and it is hoped that these will allow new re-start industries to appear. Worth looking into the region via Kasna (especially for industrial and manufacturing sources) - but Kasna suggests short term transactions only at this time.