Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are going through an extremely dynamic period of change, from a planned or command economy to an economy that is more like a western free market economy. Just as there are many forms of free market economies in the West, the varieties of market economies that will eventually emerge within these countries will be equally unique and different. The foundations for an industrial infrastructure exist, but whether or not it will emerge as a viable infrastructure remains to be seen (see Table 6.1. Redefining the way enterprises work is one of the greatest challenges to be resolved within the new nations of the former Soviet Union.

Doing business with FSU enterprises today is a complex and unstable process (see Table 6.2). The ingredients for a viable business environment do exist. The system in these countries can be extremely powerful and productive. For example, a consortium of university, government laboratories, and industry in Belarus is aggressively developing a potentially competitive AMLCD manufacturing industry. The consortium is successfully integrating scientific and engineering expertise to solve specific applied technology problems. This impressive effort spans understanding the fundamental nature of devices and materials, to scaling up and controlling these processes to manufacture AMLCDs. It remains to be seen, however, if the consortium will be able to separate the issues of ownership and control, or whether these issues will result in a technical success within a failed business.

Table 6.1
Emerging (or Missing) Market Economy Infrastructure

Table 6.2
Infrastructure as it Appeared in October 1993

Published: December 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian