The objective of countercyclical capital buffer is to encourage banks to build up buffers in good times that can be drawn down in bad times. The aim of the report is to assess such decisions by banks derived from three approaches. The approaches are the aggregate credit-to-GDP ratio, credit growth as well as banking sector profits. The approaches are implemented for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for the time period 2000-2012. The report compares three approaches and analyses their relevance to the Baltic States by testing the correlation between a growth in studied variables and a growth of corresponding gaps. Methods used in the empirical part of the report are econometric analysis as well as economic analysis, development indicators, relative and absolute indicators and other methods. The research outcome is a cross-Baltic comparison of two alternative approaches to establish or release a countercyclical capital buffer by banks and their implications for each Baltic country.
Growing demand for gas has rekindled a debate on gas security of supply due to supply interruptions, increasing gas prices, cross-border bottlenecks and a growing reliance on imports over longer distances. Security of supply is defined mostly as an infrastructure package to satisfy N-1 criteria. In case of Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania all the gas infrastructure is built to supply natural gas only from one single supplier, Russia. In 2012 almost 100% of natural gas to the Eastern Baltic Region was supplied by Gazprom. Under such circumstances infrastructure N-1 criteria does not guarantee security of supply. In the Eastern Baltic Region, the assessment of risk of gas supply disruption has been worked out by applying the method of risk scenarios. There are various risks to be tackled in Eastern Baltic States in terms of improving security of supply, such as single supplier risk, physical infrastructure risk, regulatory gap, fair price and competition. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the energy security of the Eastern Baltic Region within the framework of the European Union’s policies and to make recommendations on how to better guarantee the energy security of the region.
Baltic competitiveness is quite controversial. In a situation with the rapid structural changes, economy develops in balance very rarely - in different fields will always be more rapid changes in another more stagnation. Analyzing different economic indices developed by international organizations the situation in three Baltic countries are described from a different competitiveness positions highlighting strengths and weaknesses of each country. Exploring the openness of the economy, it is possible to observe certain risks included in the reports describing situation of competitiveness where government policies competing in the tax system, the rates of labour market policies, investment environment, etc. This is a very important factor resulting in competitive advantage. Baltic countries are still at a weak position from a technological perspective, and need to borrow the knowledge and technology from more developed countries.