[Publisher:] Institut für Weltwirtschaft (IfW) [Place:] Kiel [Year:] 1998
Kiel Working Paper 882
Although an extensive amount of literature reviews emerging patterns of east-west co-operation, it is not easy to grasp the state of the art. Too many of the books, articles and papers tend to mark the trees rather than to map the forest. The paper analyses recent trends from the point of view of modern economics which emphasizes the growing use of a wide variety of new types of co-operative mechanisms between firms in organizing international business. It takes an appraising look at the outcome of a recent research project of a group of scholars from east and west. The paper comes to the conclusion that east-west integration is proceeding at a considerable rate. But it is dominated by shallow modes - by arm's length transactions and contract work. To a certain extent, this might reflect new patterns of inter-firm co-operation. But this might also be an indication that co-operation with partners in CECTs is still in a flat state. Eastern firms find it hard to obtain an adequate position in international networks. Their lack of competence, reliability and reputation is often an insurmountable barrier. Accordingly, they must improve upon their technological and organizational standards to be considered by western firms as competent, reliable and trustworthy and, hence, equal partners in collaborational networks.