East opens door to EC
I WAS pleased to read and fully agree with the letter to the editor by Peter Gordon of Image Alpha Limited (South China Morning Post, June 9) and the advice given by Andrew Ma of the Hongkong Trade Development Council (Business Post, June 3).
Simply stated, the emerging markets of Eastern Europe offer Hongkong companies excellent trade and investment opportunities.
As Mr Gordon pointed out, Hongkong companies should seriously consider developing business in Russia. The size, wealth and needs of that society demand study, strategic thinking and action.
However, there are other markets in Eastern Europe which offer certain advantages to Hongkong companies.
For example, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have entered so-called ''Partnership Agreements'' with the European Community (EC). These agreements are generally considered as a preliminary step to full membership in the EC.
Further, EC foreign ministers have recently reach broad agreement on measures to accelerate the economic and political integration of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.
The obvious advantages of full membership in the EC for these countries have encouraged foreign investment in several of these markets with over 15,000 joint ventures in Hungary and 10,000 in Poland.
However, most of these investments have been made by European and American companies.
In short, Hongkong companies, which have an impressive history and international reputation for developing new markets, should quickly meet the challenges and access the opportunities available in Eastern Europe.
JACK W FLADER, JR Director East Europe Business Association