New Kids on the Bloc

Bringing money and expertise, Westerners are rushing to invest in Eastern Europe's freedom. They will find as many obstacles as opportunities

The political revolution that swept through Eastern Europe last year was just the beginning. Now comes a rush of new business ventures that will open the region to the rest of the world and change the way East Europeans work, play and shop. In Hungary, General Electric paid $150 million last January for control of Tungsram, one of the world's largest light-bulb makers. GE plans to light up Europe by selling the bulbs across the Continent. In Poland, Italian automaker Fiat, in partnership with a Polish company, plans to build 1.5 million subcompacts during the next ten years. In East Germany,...

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