The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №1(23)

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The Baltics in the Geography of the Largest Transnational Corporations of Europe



The aim of this study is to examine the place of the Baltic States on the corporate world map, a contemporary, foreign-investment-driven alternative to the more familiar political map. To this end, the author studies the geographical place of the Baltics in the documentation of transnational corporations. The research database consists of financial reports and presentations of 60 leading European (including Russian) transnational corporations. Special attention is paid to companies from countries with significant FDI stock in the Baltic States. This study is a first step towards analyzing international investors’ interpretation of the new European borders. The connection between the neighborhood effect on FDI distribution and geographical segmentation in the corporate paperwork is established. Some companies use a multilevel division (e. g. Europe/Eastern Europe), where the Baltics is usually associated with “Europe” (with or without Russia and Turkey). However, in some cases the Baltic States are clustered u nder “home market” (as is the case with some Swedish companies), “former Soviet Union” (some Russian companies), “Northern Europe and Central Asia,” and even “Middle East and Eastern Europe." Varying understanding of where exactly th borders of Europe lie could explain the plurality of attitudes of the European business establishment to the EU sanctions against Russia.


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