Though these countries are on their way of catching up with Western Europe, they all have a long way to go, the study affirms. According to UCLA calculations, it will take Hungary 30-35 years, the Czech Republic 25 years, Romania 45-50 years to reach Western Europe's level. Slovenia is the fastest to reach EU standards - in just 5 years, according to the survey.
The UCLA research shows that there has been $240 billion worth capital coming to the CEE countries since 1989. At present Hungary's productivity is 60% of the EU average. In the early 1990s, CEE wages were as low as 7% of the German or Austrian wages, and now they are as low as 20%.
As for the differences in economic structure, the study shows that in the EU15 countries, people employed by SMEs amount to 50% of the total workforce, while in Hungary the ratio is only 20%, and even lower, 10% in other countries of the region.