Austria, with its well-developed market economy and high standard of living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's. Its economy features a large service sector, a sound industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector. The Austrian economy has benefited greatly in the past from strong commercial relations, especially in the banking andinsurance sectors, with central, eastern, and southeastern Europe, but these sectors have been vulnerable to recent international financial instabilities.
This modern, private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EUcountries and its overall current account deficit widened to 4% of GDP in 2009. Public debt is nearly 100% of GDP. On the positive side, income distribution is relatively equal and the government succeeded in balancing its budget during the 2000-2008 period. In 2009 Belgian GDP contracted by 3.1%, the unemployment rate rose slightly, and the budget deficit worsened because of large-scale bail-outs inthe financial sector.
Bulgaria, a former Communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007, averaged more than 6% growth from 2004 to 2008, driven by significant amounts of foreign direct investment.
The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for nearly four-fifths of GDP. Tourism,financial services, and real estate are the most important sectors. An aggressive austerity program in the preceding years, aimed at paving the way for the euro, helped turn a soaring fiscal deficit (6.3% in 2003) into a surplus of 1.2% in 2008, and reduced inflation to 4.7%
The Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central andEastern Europe. Maintaining an open investment climate has been a key element of the Czech Republic's transition from a communist, centrally planned economy to a functioning market economy. The small, open, export-driven Czech economy grew by over 6% annually from 2005-2007 and by 2.5% in 2008.
This thoroughly modern market economy features a high-tech agricultural sector,state-of-the-art industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy, and a high dependence on foreign trade. The Danish economy is also characterized by extensive government welfare measures, an equitable distribution of income, and comfortable living standards. The global financial crises cut Danish GDP by 0.9% in 2008 and 4.3% in 2009.
Estonia, a 2004European Union entrant, has a modern market-based economy and one of the higher per capita income levels in Central Europe and the Baltic region. Estonia's successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda and have wavered little in their commitment to pro-market reforms. Tallinn's priority has been to sustain high growth rates - on average 8% per year from 2003 to2007. The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden, and Germany.
Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy with per capita output roughly that of Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Trade is important with exports accounting for over one third of GDP in recent years. Finland isstrongly competitive in manufacturing - principally the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Finland excels in high-tech exports such as mobile phones. Except for timber and several minerals, Finland depends on imports of raw materials, energy, and some components for manufactured goods.
The government has partially or fully privatized many large...