Goldman, Marshall I.
July 1969
Foreign Affairs;Jul1969, Vol. 47 Issue 4, p721
This article examines the economic reform policy of Europe. Western observers of economic reform in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have concentrated almost exclusively on internal changes. Most of us have been fascinated by the provocative debate and by the subsequent decision of the East European governments to emphasize such concepts as profit, interest, rent and managerial autonomy and to deemphasize centralized planning. This concentration on internal economic reforms has tended to divert attention from the equally significant changes that the East Europeans have introduced into their international economic structure. The lack of discussion in the West about the reforms in Eastern Europe's foreign trade may be attributed to several factors. First, there has been no counterpart to the wide-ranging Liberman-type debates over internal reforms which would have drawn Western attention to the changes in the external economic activities of the communist countries. Second, because foreign trade has always entailed interaction with large numbers of non-communist traders, it has generally been it has generally been assumed that some adaptation of non-communist methods was only to be expected. Moreover, trade among members of Council of Mutual Economic Assistance has been bilateral and on a barter basis. Fostered by the Russians, barter has also been the prime method of conducting trade between Eastern Europe and the developing countries and even with several developed countries.


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