Fulbright Scholar at Duke Recaps Western Balkan Economic Growth & Outlines Challenges

February 6, 2020
Dr. Albulene Kastrati, Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Duke, speaks to students on Emerging Markets
Dr. Albulenë Kastrati, a Fulbright Scholar at Duke University,
addresses Duke students about Emerging Markets in the Balkans

On January 30, Dr. Albulenë Kastrati, a Fulbright Scholar at Duke University, delivered a lecture on "Growth Potentials and Challenges of South-Eastern European (SEE) countries"  to students enrolled in Dr. Giovanni Zanalda's "Emerging Markets" course.

Dr. Kastrati delved into essential elements that affected the recent economic development of several western Balkan nations. Restructuring the institutional setting, privatizing process, and attracting fresh foreign capital were all highlighted as important prerequisites for creating a market economy and reviving growth. In particular, the choice of fundamental macroeconomic policy in the design of stabilization programs played a crucial role in tackling fiscal balances. This, in turn, enabled these countries to achieve macroeconomic stability while curbing inflation and building solid financial sectors, in some cases from scratch.

Dr. Kastrati provided an historical analysis of the evolution of the real economy,  monetary and exchange rate policies, and trade among SEE economies.  Then she focused on recent developments in the financial sector including the impact of global financial crisis and on the most relevant contemporary challenges faced by SEE countries such as the dependency on EU trade and public investments and the establishment of institutional and legal frameworks necessary for a well functioning market economy.

Growth potential for these countries lies in increasing complementary trade among the entire SEE region, stimulating the private sector, and developing credible institutional and legal frameworks which protect both private and foreign investors, and possibly to join the European Union.

In a clear sign of engagement, students actively posed questions regarding the current economic and political situation of this volatile yet strategically important European region.

Dr. Albulenë Kastrati is an Assistant Professor at AAB College and Senior Banking Su​pervisor at the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo. In her current research at Duke University she, in collaboration with Professor Connel Fullenkamp (Economics), investigates underutilized resources in the banking systems of European emerging and transition economies.