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Foreign Privatization in Poland

  • Economics
  • Political Science


Article describes role foreign direct investment (FDI) in long-term development of the former socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. FDI is the most common vehicle used by foreign investors when entering new markets with their own products and technologies. CEE countries have a large potential need for FDI. Foreign investments can be the driving forces toward achieving the four following goals: combat the lack of foreign capital, accelerate the privatization process of CEE economies, introduce modern technology and management techniques, supply the local markets with quality products. Early optimism about CEE economic reforms and resulting large FDI inflows was based on the expected opening up of new markets with good growth prospects, the existence of a skilled labor force and low labor costs, and relatively low cultural barriers, particularly for West European companies investing in Central Europe. The emergence of a large number of potentially highly profitable new investment opportunities was expected to generate a flow of FDI as well as internal funds to finance new investment. Since then, both sides have reassessed the potential costs and benefits. To date, the volume of FDI into CEE countries has been very small, the technology is in most cases outdated, and the management skills of Western investors are disappointing. From the other side, the costs of doing business for Western companies in the CEE are much higher than they expected and the anticipated benefits have been lower, at least in the short to medium term. Is there a more accurate assessment of the that situation? In this paper, the authors attempt to: present the real growth in FDI from a global perspective; examine the structure of the CEE investment; put forth some basic political recommendations to promote an active strategy and policy towards FDI which the CEE countries can incorporate into the enhancement of their indigenous competitive advantage and capabilities.

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