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Abstract

The aim of the paper is to identify the trade barriers imposed by the Western Balkan countries. All barriers, whether tariff or non-tariff, undoubtedly impede the normal development of trade between countries. Therefore, the paper examines merchandise trade patterns in the Western Balkan region and tries to identify the main drivers of and obstacles to intra-regional trade. Intra-regional trade comes second in importance, after trade with the European Union (EU); it underperformed and was in decline in the last few years. In the region with political challenges as the Western Balkans, non-tariff barriers significantly reduce trade exchanges between the countries in this region. Currently, the trade and political disputes (tax rate 100%) between Kosovo and Serbia showed that the imposed tariffs in trade created a political reaction between the countries, interrupting the dialogue between these countries. The originality and value of the paper are reflected in its dealing with such topics as trade barriers, genesis in ethnic and political disputes that are prominent in the Balkan region.

Abstract

The aim of this exploratory research is to examine the foreign direct investment (FDI) – financial development (FD) nexus and to analyse the strength of relationships among FDI measures. The study employed structural equation modelling (SEM) on selected data from the World Development Indicators (WDI) from 1979 to 2016 to achieve the modest goal of this paper. The study established that FDI inflows are precursors of a vibrant and well-developed financial institution in emerging economies. We also found positive and negative correlations amongst the FDI measures, which suggest they move pari passu in stimulating the FD of an economy. A notable feature of this study is in the employment of SEM empirical strategy to shed light on the FDI-FI nexus. The study concluded that emerging economies must focus on the creation of a congenial investment climate to attract FDI inflows, which pivots robust financial institutions because of their cascading effects on the overall economy.

Abstract

The textile industry is still significantly involved in production and employment in developed countries and is a major source of growth in many developing countries. As a business with a long history, the textile industry undergoes radical transformations at a global level. With the emergence of new competitors, global business conditions have changed significantly. Nevertheless, European manufacturers have remained world leaders in the production of industrial textiles and fashion clothing. Many European manufacturers resort to subcontracting or relocating capacity for labour-intensive activities in countries with lower labour costs, such as Serbia, in order to maintain competitiveness. The greatest success of the domestic textile industry was recorded in the late 1980s when it was a significant source of employment, the creation of added value and more balanced regional development. Although it is still not at the level of the 1980s, positive developments in the domestic textile industry appeared in 2016 in the direction of growth in production, employment and exports. The state seeks to accelerate the development of the textile industry through the subsidisation of foreign and domestic investors. However, growth that is primarily based on foreign direct investment is a long-term unsustainable concept. In order for growth to be sustainable, it is necessary to encourage the development of activities that produce greater added value and increase competitiveness. That is the reason why it is necessary to support the development of domestic enterprises, as well as the arrival of those foreign investments that generate multiple levels of added value.

Abstract

We consider Laplacian fractional revival between two vertices of a graph X. Assume that it occurs at time τ between vertices 1 and 2. We prove that for the spectral decomposition L=r=0qθrEr of the Laplacian matrix L of X, for each r = 0, 1, . . . , q, either Ere1 = Ere2, or Ere1 = −Ere2, depending on whether ei τ θr equals to 1 or not. That is to say, vertices 1 and 2 are strongly cospectral with respect to L. We give a characterization of the parameters of threshold graphs that allow for Laplacian fractional revival between two vertices; those graphs can be used to generate more graphs with Laplacian fractional revival. We also characterize threshold graphs that admit Laplacian fractional revival within a subset of more than two vertices. Throughout we rely on techniques from spectral graph theory.

Abstract

The aim of the article is to assess the international competitiveness of the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) in high-technology goods trade. To this end, Balassa’s method of analysing revealed comparative advantages (RCA) was applied. An in-depth analysis of the dynamics of RCAs in the Baltic States’ exports between 1997 and 2014 has shown that their international competitiveness in this regard is relatively low, the direct consequence of which is the growing negative trade balance in high-technology goods. Also, during the analysed period Lithuania possessed no RCAs in trading high-technology goods, while the number of advantages for Estonia and Latvia was relatively small. Still, among the three Baltic States, Estonia was found to be most competitive in this regard, although in Latvia some progress was observed. In contrast, Lithuania not only had the lowest values of RCA, but also it did not record any improvement in the analysed period.

Abstract

This paper compares the treatment of English pronunciation in school textbooks from France and Poland, in order to see what resources teachers have at their disposal. It is limited to textbooks used at the secondary level of each education system. Recent research has shown that European teachers do not find teaching English pronunciation easy and that many are unsatisfied with their training in relation to teaching pronunciation (Bradford & Kenworthy 1991; Burgess and Spencer 2000; Henderson et al. 2012; Frost and Henderson, 2013; Iivonen, 2005). Textbooks are a widespread resource with the potential to alleviate a lack of extensive pedagogical training.

The first part of this paper analyses pronunciation exercises in a representative sample of textbooks from each country. Pronunciation exercises were classified based on the degree to which they mobilize communicative abilities, according to the five categories of a Communicative Framework for teaching pronunciation (Celce-Murcia et al., 2010, p45): Description & analysis, Listening discrimination, Controlled practice, Guided practice, Communicative practice. The first category involves little risk-taking by the learner, usually focusses on form and allows little freedom. At the other end of the spectrum, communicative practice involves a focus on meaning and interaction, with the concomitant greater freedom to make mistakes. The exercises were then analysed to see which segmental and/or prosodic features they favoured and to what extent.

Abstract

Prolonged systematic application of mineral fertilisers contributes to increasing the yielding capacity of agricultural crops. However, it can lead to significant changes in the composition, properties and formation of agricultural soil regimes. The findings of the research have shown that the application of mineral fertilisers leads to the change of radioactive nuclides content in the soil. The research was conducted under conditions of a long-term stationary field experiment (Uman, Ukraine), using different rates of mineral fertilisers N45P45K45, N90P90K90 and N135P135K135. Soil samples (podzolized chernozem) were selected from the depths of 0 – 20, 20 – 40 and 40 – 60 cm. Specific activity of radionuclides was determined by the spectrometric analysis. Using experimental results we have demonstrated that under a long-term application (50 years) different rates of mineral fertilisers effect the specific activity of radioactive isotopes in the soil (226Ra, 232Th, 40K, 137Cs, 90Sr). The specific activity of radionuclides in a podzolized chernozem and in winter wheat grain was established. Winter wheat plants accumulated 232Th at the highest levels, but the use of fertilisers reduced it in a larger mass of the crop. The absorption of radioactive nuclides by winter wheat grain grown after peas and silage corn depending on fertilisation changed similar to growing it after clover as a previous crop. According to the data of specific activity of radioactive nuclides in the soil and winter wheat grain, the coefficient of their biological absorption was calculated.

References Ann Crabbe, Pieter Leroy. The Handbook of Environmental Policy Evaluation. Earthscan, 2008. - P.45-138. UNDP Handbook on Monitoring and Evaluating for results. UNDP Evaluation Office, 2002. - P. 8-112. Informatīvais ziņojums par Klimata pārmaiņu samazināšanas programmas 2005.-2010.gadam izpildi. 16.03.2007.

References [1] Enɑche, R., Fɑctori ce contribuie lɑ eşecul şi ɑbɑndonul şcolɑr. Prevenţie şi intervenţie , Revistɑ de Pedɑgogie şi Asistenţă Sociɑlă, FICE nr.35, Abɑndonul şcolɑr-context, concepte, cɑuze şi prevenţie , Editurɑ Universitɑră, Bucureşti, 2009, p. 38; [2] Ibidem, p. 41; [3] Ibidem, p. 45; [4] Neamţu, Cristina, Devianţa şcolară. Ghid de intervenţie în cazul problemelor de comportament ale elevilor , Editura Polirom, Iaşi, 2003, p. 27; [5] Păun, E., Şcoala. Abordare sociopedagogică , Editura Polirom, Iaşi, 2015, p. 71; [6] Ibidem, p. 73; [7] Ibidem

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