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Successful Investing in Former Soviet Republics

Which obstacles complicate foreign investing in former Soviet Republics? This is what a new Europe-wide project is investigating. At the University of Bremen, the Faculty of Business Studies & Economics and the FSO institute are involved.

“In the past ten years, the diplomatic and economic relations between the EU and several former Soviet Republics, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, have improved,” says Professor Michael Rochlitz from the Faculty of Business Studies & Economics. Visa liberalization and economic tax reforms have paved the way for foreign investments.

“However, foreign investments have not lived up to the original expectations, mainly due to informal obstacles,” states Professor Heiko Pleines from the Research Centre for East European Studies (FSO) at the University of Bremen. Yet they in turn have still not been sufficiently investigated.

The “MARKETS” project hopes to close this gap in research and analyze the informal barriers, business environments, and future trends in East Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Two to three countries from each sub region will be assessed. The aim is to create a map of the business environment in the analyzed region and also develop and improve training programs for future analysis teams. In this way, such teams will have access to the basic knowledge of business practices in the region.

15 PhD Students in 9 Countries

At the University of Bremen, two PhD students, namely Ekaterina Vorobeva and Michael Richter, are investigating the uncertainties, challenges, and future opportunities in Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine, and Central Asia. Both are being supervised by Michael Rochlitz and Heiko Pleines. In total, the project has 15 PhD students in nine countries and is being supported with total funding of nearly four million euros from the EU. Over the course of four years, Bremen will receive 505,576 euros.

The European Union (EU) is funding the “MARKETS: Mapping Uncertainties, Challenges and Future Opportunities of Emerging Markets - Informal Barriers, Business Environments and Future Trends in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia” project as part of the Horizon 2020 initiative. Dublin City University together with the University of Bremen, University College London (UK), Maastricht University (Netherlands), University of Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (Latvia), KU Leuven (Belgium), Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), and the Centre for Social Sciences (Georgia) are coordinating the project. In the frame of an “Innovative Training Network” (ITN), numerous joint research trips and workshops in the region are planned for the coming four years. They will have the aim of creating new networks between the involved researchers and participants in the region.

Further Information:



Michael Rochlitz
Professor of Institutional Economics
Faculty of Business Studies & Economics
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 (0) 421 218-66990
Email: michael.rochlitzprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Prof. Dr. Heiko Pleines
Head of Department of Politics and Economics
Research Centre for East European Studies (FSO)
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 (0) 421 218-69602
Email: pleinesprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

An dem europaweiten Projekt ist die Universität Bremen mit dem Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften und der Forschungsstelle Osteuropa beteiligt.