The Challenge of Simultaneous Economic Relations with East by Michael Marrese, Sandor Richter

By Michael Marrese, Sandor Richter

In 1982 the industrial info Unit of the Hungaraian Academy of Sciences started to co-ordinate a world learn venture entitled "The fiscal relatives of Austria, Finland, Yugoslavia and Hungary with the Soviet Union - Comparative Analysis". The co-ordinator of the study venture was once the commercial info Unit of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. different contributing associations incorporated the Hungarian Institute of monetary marketplace learn and data and the Vienna Institute for Comparative financial reports. separately, Hungarian, Austrian, Finnish and Soviet researchers took half within the writing, revising, and guidance of the study papers. during finishing the rustic stories, it turned obvious bilateral "small country-Soviet Union" method of the issues of the above pointed out 4 courtries was once too proscribing. monetary kin with the Soviet Union may be analyzed in a broader context, specifically including the issues of the eomonomic kin of the nations enthusiastic about the West and the opposite East-European international locations. This notion gave start to the assumption of organizing the convention "The problem of Simultaneous monetary family members with East and West" that came about in March 1988 on the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio convention middle. This quantity is a made from that convention, which used to be supported through the Rockefeller origin. Austria, Finland, Hungary and Yugoslavia belong to these ecu nations that retain ecomomic family of significant significance with either the West (OECD nations) and the East (CMEA nations) concurrently. because of their diverse ancient, political and social heritage, the recommendations those international locations came upon to difficulties deriving from their "double attachment" have diversified. the target of the convention was once to spot the types of associations, equipment of settling funds, and exchange styles that experience emerged in those 4 international locations . additionally, the comparability used to be to function a tool to appreciate no matter if, why, and what kind of those 4 international locations benefited from "double attachment". even if the fundamental thought of the convention used to be an in depth dialogue of the 4 international locations involved. The organizers meant to put the problems mentioned right into a broader overseas context. as a result, along with students from Finland, Austria, Yogoslavia, and Hungary, specialists of East-West monetary relatives have been invited from France, Germany, Poland, and the Soviet Union and the united states to provide contributions.

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Another problem would be the substantial deficit in the trade with the Soviet Union after the change to hard currency settlements. A more favourable solution could involve a small group of Eastern European countries, or indeed all of them, abolishing clearing, while in trade with the Soviet Union the traditional system of payments would prevail for a time, perhaps in a somewhat less rigid form than at present. In this set up East European countries would be saved from the likely imbalances in their bilateral trade with the Soviet Union.

East European countries and the Soviet Union did not object to the change. Moreover, the Soviet Union explicitly expressed its preference for a hard currency settlement of payments in bilateral trade with Austria. The IMF also urged Austria to abolish clearing since it objected to the system of multiple exchange rates. To sum up, there was an optimal constellation of domestic and international conditions. In spite of this, Austria was divided on the decision concerning the abolishment of the clearing.

I must make a remark here. Since Finland's domestic economy is prospering and its relations with the OECD are excellent, the change to hard currency payments in trade with the Soviet Union is not a particularly important issue at all. Paradoxically, the more feasible the accomplishment of this change is, the less significance it has. The explanation of this is the following: while the short-term benefits of the clearing system are at hand, long-term disadvantages exert their influence to a relatively small extent provided the domestic economy and trade with other partners prosper.

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