On line Data
June, 2008 Issue Prepared by the UNECE Statistical Division, the UNECE Facts and Figures articles are based on data from the UNECE Statistical Database. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Intra-regional trade in southeast Europe gains momentum
10 June 2008
In face of strong external demand, southeast European foreign trade boomed in the mid-2000s. Although the bulk of trade flows was geared to the EU, intra-regional trade expanded very rapidly too. In the last four years, aggregate intra-regional imports (in euro terms) grew by some 22 per cent annually, their share in total imports increasing to about 11 per cent in 2007. The strongest reliance on intra-regional trade – 35 per cent for exports and 30 per cent for imports - was recorded in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This intra-regional trade expansion was preceded by the intense efforts to promote trade liberalisation and intra-regional cooperation under the Stability Pact for South East Europe, which also paved the way for a regional free trade agreement. In 2006, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and the UNIMK/Kosovo acceded to the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA-2006), after negotiating with the four then active members (Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) a number of amendments to it. These stipulated that the free trade area shall be established over a transitional period of three years following ratification of the pact by all continuing parties (Bulgaria and Romania exited CEFTA-2006 upon their accession to the EU in January 2007).
Source:UN COMTRADE database and national statistics.
Note: CEFTA-6 consists of eight southeast European countries: five are listed in the legend to the chart, while Moldova, Montenegro, and UNIMK/Kosovo are grouped under the item “other”.
*Intra-CEFTA trade refers to reported imports from the eight member countries.
Reconciling parenthood and employment
3 June 2008
With dual-earner families prevailing in modern households (see UNECE Weekly #261), the question of how to reconcile work and family life, and particularly parenthood, becomes increasingly important. In general, more women than men are faced with the difficult choice - whether to stay in employment or leave it (at least temporarily) to take care of children.
As the chart attests, the difference in employment rates of women without children and those with children is quite substantial in west European countries and Canada, but not in the two south-east European countries. The difference also varies depending on the child’s age - women with a child under two years have in general the lowest employment rate. (In Romania, however, the opposite is true.) The employment rates edge up as children reach school age.
The particularity of the mother-child relation at low child-age is one reason for the low employment rates of women with a child below two years. Some ECE countries provide extended paid or non-paid parental leave that helps women to remain in employment during that period. The availability of child care facilities, which is generally better for children above two years, also plays an important role.
Source:Source: UNECE gender database (www.unece.org/stats/data)
Note: The employment rate used here refers to the percentage share of employed women aged 25-49 in the corresponding female population.