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Nordic Investments in the Former Soviet Baltic Frontier: A Survey of Firms and Selected Case Studies

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Nordic companies have been leaders in the rapid expansion of Western business into Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the St Petersburg area of Russia. While joint ventures were being developed prior to the demise of the USSR, investment rose sharply in early 1992. Our survey of companies from Nordic countries revealed a pattern of location and of adaptation to the conditions of former Soviet infrastructure, culture, politics and economy. Initial Nordic investment has renewed economic ties across the Baltic Sea, with inter-country links stronger between specific countries. Frustrations with changing government rules, communications, work ethic, quality expectations and other conditions were expressed in interviews with managers of Nordic companies in the Baltic area. Optimism was tempered by continued uncertainty about Russian governmental policies and market potential.

Keywords: Baltic; Foreign investment; Nordic; Post-USSR

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0435-3684.2000.00083.x

Affiliations: 1: Harley Johansen, Department of Geography, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID USA, 2: Department of Infrastructure and Planning, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 3: University of Latvia and Latvian Ministry of Finance, Riga, Latvia (On leave to International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA)

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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