H2020-MSCA-RISE-2018: New Markets

An exploration into the changing nature of business environments, informal barriers and emerging markets in the post-Soviet region


European Commission, H2020-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, 1.7.2019- 30.6.2024


The past ten years have seen several changes in post-USSR business environments. From Kazakhstan to Belarus, and eventually Uzbekistan in 2016, a growing number of post-USSR republics have gradually begun economic reforms to allow foreign businesses to operate in their territory. However, these declared intentions are sometimes contrasted by nonofficial or informal barriers into domestic and regional markets. Indeed, from rampant corruption to the necessity to get protection from local oligarchs, entering post-Soviet markets involves several risks. New Markets addresses the current limited existence of clear instructions that could enable new, and existing economic actors to gain an overview into the hidden risks associated with business activities in the post-Soviet region.

Our research follows a three-stage approach:

First, we conduct a review of policy measures adopted in the past 10 years (2008-2018) to liberalize the markets in our target countries. Our analysis will compare three countries that have fully opened to foreign investors already in the early 2000 – Estonia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan – with three countries that have only recently shown a more cooperative attitude -Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan. We will survey the major mechanisms, and policies, adopted in these six countries to evaluate how they have ended up affecting the business environment. Second, we will conduct an empirical evaluation of the measures adopted for improving the business climate in the target countries. This will be done through a national survey of core business actors in each country Third, building upon results of the second stage, we will map challenges and opportunities in the region comparing macro and micro perspectives and testing government-led decisions against their results.

Coordinator and participants

The Consortium Coordinator is Dr. Abel Polese at the Dublin City University (Ireland).

The participating organizations include:

University of Helsinki (Finland), Tallinna Tehnikaulikool (Estonia), Latvijas Universitate (Latvia), SIAR Research and Consulting LLC (Kyrkyzstan), Kimep University (Kazakhstan), Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus (Belarus), University of World Economy and Diplomacy (Uzbekistan), Economic Research and Policy Center (Georgia) and Kiev International Institute of Sociology (Ukraine).

Participating researchers in the Aleksanteri Institute

Anna-Liisa Heusala, University lecturer, Principal Investigator
Vladimir Gelman, Professor
Sirke Mäkinen, University lecturer
Sherzod Eraliev, Postdoctoral Researcher
Mirzokhid Karshiev, Doctoral Candidate