No. 42, 1996 - From Quotas to Hard Currency: Company Views on the Post-Soviet Barter Period at the Beginning of the 1990s

The so-called barter period at the beginning of the 1990s was the result of special circumstances Barter contributed to the survival of international trade among the transitional economies in an era when inter-state relations were shaken by political factors and the pain of change upset established inter-company connections. It follows that with the development of normal trade the role of barter will revert to being marginalised and the exchange of goods driven by necessity will be replaced by the use of modern financial instruments. However, in the conditions of the so-called Wild East, neither the tendencies nor the required duration of this process are clear-cut. This paper aims to record certain general features of what can be called the post-Soviet or CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) barter period. It is based on a series of interviews conducted among a number of companies. Actual experiences have enabled us to analyse the underlying causes of the barter period as well as to examine the factors behind the reduction in significance and the falling out of fashion of counter-trade deals.
The paper is available here.