For use of information media - Not an official record

Geneva, Switzerland, 12 December 2002

UNCTAD is today releasing a study of the impact of the European Union´s potential enlargement on the outward FDI flows of eight candidates for accession to the Union. The eight countries, all of them in Central and Eastern Europe - Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia - are among the 10 that have been invited to join the EU in 2004, the other two being Cyprus and Malta.

The note analyses the historical patterns of the eight countries´ FDI outflows since the beginning of transition from centrally planned to market economies. It also compares their situation with that of the 11 other countries in the Central and Eastern European region. UNCTAD has concentrated on outward FDI because much less is known about it for this region than is inward FDI, which will be studied in a subsequent note.

The note is being issued on the occasion of the European Council meeting in Copenhagen 12 and 13 December, when EU Heads of State or Government will discuss the enlargement of the European Union and resulting changes to be made to the Council.