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Frontiers in East-West Business and Emerging Markets |
Note of Thanks

Research Seminar Series:
Frontiers in East-West Business & Emerging Markets
(From the University of Toronto Newsletter)

Dear Colleagues:

I take the liberty of enclosing a description of the Research Seminar Series I conducted in 1996/97. Encouraged by the success, I intend to continue the experience in 1997/98. Many thanks for your kind help and/or interest. I wish you all the best for the Summer and beyond.

Val Samonis.

The 1996/97 "Frontiers in East-West Business and Emerging Markets" Research Seminar Series concluded with a session on Russian transition and investment on April 11. The seminars were held once a month from November to April and featured speakers from Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Lithuania, United States, Japan and Austria. We asked Dr. Val Samonis to reflect on the series' experience from his vantage point of designer, creator and moderator:

In the East's Communist past, East-West business relations tended to succumb to a rather well known manic-depressive pattern of East-West relations in general: periods of unrealistic hopes, even euphoria, were invariably followed by periods of deep pessimism as these hopes were dashed. The fall of Communism brought new, unprecedented opportunities for both qualitative and quantitative breakthroughs in East-West business relations and business with emerging markets in general. To take advantage of the new opportunities as we approach the year 2000, the essential gaps in our knowledge of these markets must be at least reduced if not eliminated.

It is evident that most current or prospective Western business-people and analysts need guidance on the impact of the changing emerging markets' environment on the nature and parameters of their interaction with the new international business partners. The seminar series attempted to offer such guidance by way of addressing some of the issues on the forefront of emerging markets (frontiers) through presentations of relevant empirical and
theoretical research findings of scholars from many countries.The series generated wide interest and was well attended by business people, government officials, students, scholars, and the general public.

Moreover, I received a multitude of inquiries, requests for
papers and collaboration proposals, etc, not only from Canada but also U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The individual sessions tackled such issues as bankruptcies and enterprise restructuring in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union(FSU), comparative financial systems in emerging markets (stock markets, banks, etc), transformation of trade and investment relations in the FSU, comparative foreign direct investment policies and their impact on emerging markets, and Russia's transition to markets by the year 2000.

Research for papers presented in the various sessions was conducted at and/or supported by a number of institutions and individuals without whom the series would have been impossible.


Note of Thanks

Financial, logistical, and human support was provided by The Center for Social & Economic Research, Warsaw (Professor Lesze Balcerowicz, Director), The European Union (ACE Program), Stanford University (Economic Transition Group), The World Bank (Dr. Cheryl Gray, Team Leader), The Soros Foundation, The International Academic Priorities Fund (University of Toronto), The Mykulak Scholarly Exchange Program with Ukraine, University of Toronto (Professor Basil Kalymon, Director), York University's Schulich School of Business (Professor Savita Verma), Centre for Russian & East European Studies, University of Toronto, The Government of Ontario (Work-Study Program), The Economic Research Centre,Vilnius (Dr. Gediminas Rainys, Director), The Plekhanov Academy of Economics and The Delovaya Rossiya Business Information Service, Moscow (Dr. Piotr Shalimov), Harvard University (Project on Economic Reform in Ukraine (Dr. David Snelbecker, Director), Kyiv University (Professor Alex Rohach), International Management Institute in Kyiv (Professor Alla Voronova), Kyiv Polytechnical University (Professor Alla Starostyna), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Professor Edgar Ortiz), University of Maine (Dr. Dennis McConnell, Moderator, CEEMAN-L) and other institutions and individuals from a number of countries. The speakers and other contributors to the series are unfortunately too numerous to name here - they all deserve my warmest thanks.

Val Samonis.


2003 SEMI
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