International Trade and Finance: A North American Perspective

By Khosrow Fatemi | Go to book overview

17
PRESENCE OF EASTERN EUROPEAN ECONOMIES IN NORTH AMERICAN MARKETS

GEORGE TESAR AND JEROME K. LAURENT


INTRODUCTION

In the recent past the Eastern European economies have been faced with ongoing shortages of foreign exchange and steadily deteriorating domestic markets. As a result, these economies have become more involved with Western markets. By the mid-1980s several of the economies focused on North American markets with greater expectation, not only of improving their foreign exchange position, but also of substantially upgrading their domestic markets through direct interaction with North American markets. Their fundamental strategy has been based on the assumption that the experience gained through direct sales of consumer and industrial products, such as automobiles, clothing, buses, trucks, and machine tools, can be used to improve the development and marketing of products intended for domestic consumption. In addition, sales of technology developed in Eastern Europe to individual firms in North American markets would enable individual enterprises and research organizations to develop strategic alliances suitable for implementation of more efficient production processes. Major improvements in production processes in Eastern European economies are perceived by their government leaders as one of the basic requirements for establishment of a new, more competitive position for Eastern Europe in Western markets.

Results of recent industrial studies and conclusions derived from personal involvement with managers from Eastern European enterprises and U.S. managers marketing products and services in Eastern European economies clearly indicates that in the late 1980s and early 1990s the penetration of North American markets by Eastern European economies will intensify significantly. The information available from individual Eastern European

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