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&#39Bigger EU will mean opportunities for investors&#39

The proposed enlargement of the European Union will stimulate growth in eastern Europe, creating opportunities for investors, claims Fleming.

The next wave of member states, expected to join the EU early in the next century, will be drawn primarily from the Eastern European countries. These are likely to include Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Estonia.

Fleming believes those countries joining the EU will offer a number of positive spin-offs for investors.

It says the region is already showing solid economic fundamentals which should be enhanced by the enlarged EU.

Countries wanting to join the EU will be encouraged to continue their economic reform packages. They will also begin to peg their currencies to the euro, reducing the currency risk for European investors.

Fleming head of Emerging Europe and Middle East Stefan Bottcher says: "The path towards integration offers opportunities for investors. Membership of the EU will lead to stronger economic growth in many European countries."

Bottcher believes that economic growth in Central Europe will remain close to 5 per cent this year and next year, which compares well with developed countries.

Fleming has more than $1bn invested in central and Eastern Europe.

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