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Selected Sources for Eastern Europe, Russia and the Former Soviet Union
Tuesday, 5th October 2010
DocuTicker editors contribute brief articles
to FUMSI on conducting research with grey literature - reports from government
agencies, think tanks, research institutes and public interest organisations.
In my work as a contributing editor for DocuTicker,
I research publicly available reports on a number of global topics.
Here are some of my favourite resources for Eastern Europe, Russia and the Former Soviet Union:
European countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and the entire
former Eastern Bloc make intriguing markets. Examples include Russia,
Georgia, Croatia and Serbia, and a large number of countries (e.g.
Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, etc.) which
became Member States of the European Union (EU) in the past decade.
less than 20 years they have undergone huge changes. There
remain important variations between them in the amount of State
control yielded and privatization introduced (e.g. the Russian
Government retains significant influence in the field of energy). In
evaluating any country as an emerging market, it is therefore
important to be aware of its particular history as well as its
good way into a country, both for background information and
contacts, is through its chamber of commerce. The World
Chambers Network and the International
Chamber of Commerce (ICC) are both useful in this respect. The
ICC provides a page
of links to its European members which quickly leads to its
members in both Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Russia.
embassies and other diplomatic representation
customarily have responsibility for affecting commercial contacts.
Embassy World and the UK's
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
will together provide listings for both the UK and the USA. These
embassy websites themselves often lead on to sources of business
information for their home country.
is the official statistical agency that covers the EU. The Member
States which joined in 2004 and 2007 are in a somewhat paradoxical
position. Admission depends partly on being judged to have a market
economy which is strong enough to withstand strong competition, yet
at the same time these are countries which are considered emerging
economies (thus the official assistance granted them, known as
Structural Funds). This does, however, mean
that Eurostat can be a very valuable source for data on many of the
countries under consideration. Simply searching the site by a
country's name will bring up results both for that country and as
part of more general surveys: e.g. a search for Estonia produces
energy statistics for all of the EU 27, and figures just for Estonia
in areas like fishery products.
useful annual publication is the European
Union foreign direct investment yearbook.
The latest edition (2008) has data from 2001-2006, so Romania and
Bulgaria do not feature. But figures for the countries which joined
in 2004 can be gleaned, along with Russia. Russia's presence here
highlights another paradox: A facet of some
emerging economies is that they already have a strength which propels
them to invest outside their borders.
avenues to look into for statistics, relevant legal considerations
and case studies are dedicated national government agencies,
ministries and departments. Examples are the InvestBulgaria
Agency, publications from the Czech
Republic, and the Polish
Information and Foreign Investment Agency. There are equivalents
throughout the region's countries, with a good way into all of them
(Russian and East European Network Information Center), from the
University of Texas. Simply choose a country
from the list and then, from a standard set of categories,
‘Economics' (which includes business and finances).
this article I have concentrated on official channels of information
which, to some extent, could be doubted insofar as they may also have
the underlying agenda of wishing to attract investors. It is
therefore also necessary to have regard to some more objective
sources in order to achieve a fuller picture. REENIC can do this to
some extent, and other directories can be found via the British
and East European resources and the Library of Congress'
Central and Eastern Europe ‘Portal
to the World'. All of these will provide links, for instance,
to media, politics, and country search engines. However, they also
differ in the selection and depth of resources per country, so it is
worth comparing categories as required.
on a more strictly economic point of view, the
International Finance Corporation (a part of the World Bank) has a
section on Europe and Central Asia.
This provides a comprehensive list of all the relevant countries with
background and statistical data on each of them. The European
Restructuring Monitor is an online publication which includes all
of the EU in its remit, with regular features on macroeconomic trends
and statistics. There are also articles on specific companies and
countries, some of which relate to emerging economies.
By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at email@example.com
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