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Wine is a very special product from an economic, cultural, and sociological point of view. Wine culture and wine trade play an important role in Hungary. The effect of cultural and geographical proximity on international trade has already been proven in the international trade literature. The size of bilateral trade flows between any two countries can be approximated by the gravity theory of trade. The gravity model provides empirical evidence of the relationship between the size of the economies, the distances between them, and their trade. This paper seeks to analyse the effect of cultural and geographical proximity on Hungary’s bilateral wine trade between 2000 and 2012, employing the gravity equation. The analysis is based on data from the World Bank WITS, WDI, as well as CEPII, and WTO databases. I apply OLS, Random Effects, Poisson, Pseudo-Poisson-Maximum-Likelihood and Heckman two stage estimators to calculate the gravity regression. The results show that in the case of Hungary, cultural similarity and trade liberalisation have a positive impact, while geographical distance, landlockedness, and contiguity have a negative impact on Hungarian wine exports.

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This paper tests a neo-Heckscher-Ohlin versus a neo-Ricardian framework for explaining vertical intra-industry trade. The study applies panel techniques with instrument variables to analyse trade between ‘old’ EU and 10 Central-East European countries in their post-transition period. Results show country-pair fixed effects to be of high relevance for explaining vertical intra-industry trade. Technology differences are positively, while differences in factor endowment, measured in GDP per capita, are negatively correlated with vertical intra-industry trade, and confirm the relevance of the neo-Ricardian approach. In addition, changing bilateral differences in personal income distribution during the transition of Central-East European countries towards a market economy contribute to changes in vertical intra-industry trade.

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This paper aims to present the role of Germany in the global value chains (GVCs) of 10 Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) in 1995–2011. GVCs, being a result of the fragmentation of production processes, have changed the nature of economic globalisation. The study covers five Central European countries (CECs) (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia), the three Baltic States (Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) as well as Bulgaria and Romania. Germany is chosen because it is the main trading partner of the majority of the CEECs. The illustration of the position of Germany in GVCs of the CEECs is based on trade statistics in value added terms. The research results show that Germany has become an engine of increasing integration of the CECs in the GVCs. The role of Germany as a supplier of inputs to the CECs’ exports (backward linkages) is larger than its role as an exporter of value added originating from the CECs (forward linkages).

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This article presents the transformation of foreign trade in 10 post-socialist countries, current members of the EU. Special focus is given to the more significant role these countries began to play in global value chains (GVCs) as a result of liberalisation processes and integration within the EU. In addition, the article evaluates their place in global vertical specialisation. To locate each country on a global value chain and to compare them with selected countries, more complex methods of measuring the level of participation of European post-socialist countries in GVCs were employed. These methods allow the position of a country downstream or upstream in GVCs to be established. We concluded that (a) post-socialist countries differ in the levels of their participation in GVCs. Countries that have stronger links with Western European countries, especially with Germany, are more integrated; (b) a large share of post-socialist countries’ exports pass through Western European GVCs; (c) most exporters in Central and Eastern Europe are positioned in downstream segments of production rather than upstream markets.

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The end of the Communist regime brought about great changes in the economies of Central and Eastern Europe; the restructuring of foreign trade was one of the biggest challenges for these countries. After the transition period, Hungary became a very open country, with its trade to GDP ratio around 1.5, while trading with more than 190 countries. The aim of this paper is to analyse the determinants of exports between 1993–2014, with an emphasis on the impact of factor endowments. According to our results, economic size, common border, and free trade agreements had a statistically significant positive effect on exports, while the coefficient of distance had the expected negative sign. We measured factor endowments with several approaches and our results show that exports change in line with the Linder hypothesis, i.e. Hungary tends to trade more with countries having similar factor endowments, and thus its trade is based on differentiated products.

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International competitiveness is influenced by globalization processes in the world economy. This process changes the comparative advantages of each country and thus the shares of individual countries in world trade. BRICS countries have quickly strengthened their influence in international trade, and thus the European Union must face new pressure in competitiveness from their side. The aim of this paper is to define key factors of foreign trade competitiveness by an application of factor analysis and identify countries with similar characteristics of competitiveness factors by an application of cluster analysis. Factor and cluster analysis contain indicators of foreign trade which describe the driving forces of competitiveness, also in terms of long-term potentiality, and those which are direct or indirect outcomes of a competitive society and economy. Based on the results of the factor analysis, it is possible to classify the evaluated territories according to the level of foreign trade advancement by cluster analysis.

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In 1998, the European Union (EU) entered into negotiations with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia concerning the enlargement of the Union. At the end of 1999, the European Commission decided that six other countries could join the negotiations in 2000 (Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Malta and Romania), and it was suggested that a decision concerning the date of membership would be taken in 2002 for these applicants fulfilling all the criteria. Many questions still remain on both sides, in particular regarding institutional reform of the EU (Festoc, 1998), and the ability of the Central and Eastern European countries to adopt the “acquis”.

In this article, we shall evaluate the ways in which the Central European countries (Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic — the CECs) have already integrated to the Western European economy, using trade data over the last ten years. First, we show that since the beginning of the transition, a feature of the foreign trade of the CECs has been a strong reorientation from East to West, in particular to Germany, together with a rapid growth in trade between the EU and the CECs. Second, we describe the trade structure, focussed on foreign direct investment as a mean of developing new exports. The third and fourth sections study the development of the specialisations of the CECs and the nature of trade between the CECs and the EU respectively.

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We test the Global Engagement (GE) hypothesis according to which the most globally engaged firms, whether multinationals or exporters, are the most innovative. The test is applied to data from 4815 Portuguese firms for the period 2002–2004 based on the 4th Community Innovation Survey for Portugal. We estimated several Knowledge Production Functions, assuming that knowledge outputs result from the combination of certain knowledge inputs with the flow of ideas coming from the existing stock of knowledge. We found that the more internationally engaged firms create more knowledge output than their domestic counterparts; indeed, the more globalised firms apply more inputs and have the opportunity to use a larger stock of knowledge. Nevertheless, the relative perceived advantage of the more internationally exposed firms is also the result of their globalised nature, and is not directly connected with knowledge inputs or information flows.

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Exports play a significant role in the economic catching-up transition in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The East Asian market has emerged for CEE’s exports not only because of its dynamic economy, but also because of the European debt crisis, the political tension between Ukraine and Russia, and the recent threat of terrorism. This study utilises panel ARDL models to estimate the long-run and short-run relationships between export instability and commodity concentration and geographic concentration. The datasets cover the 2004–2014 period for the trade of all the CEE countries with 10 East Asian marketplaces. The results of the causal relationships show significance in the long-run, but not in the short-run. This study suggests that the CEE export policy toward East Asia is likely to consider the impact of trade concentrations on export instability.

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This case study of the medical technology sector in Czechia places a major focus on the position of Czech firms, particularly SMEs, in global production networks and their internationalization. The medical technology (MedTech) industry is on the rise in Czechia, although in relative terms it is part of a relatively less important category. Three types of MedTech firms have been identified in Czechia: branches of TNCs, mostly domestically-owned innovative SMEs, and local SMEs focusing on low-value production. Despite there being several innovative and successful firms, production is dominated by low-value disposables and medical and surgical products. Apart from exports, other forms of internationalization are rare and occur mostly among a number of innovative firms. With a few exceptions, production facilities are established in neighboring post-communist countries. The low levels of internationalization are mostly related to the nature of local SMEs as well as the limited ambitions of local firms. With more sophisticated products Czech SMEs could focus more on Eastern European countries outside the EU, where Czechia has historical economic ties and the regulatory requirements are likely to be less strict. An industry move towards connected health solutions is also an opportunity for start-ups focusing on health applications.

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