Regional markets: Focus on Eastern Europe


May 2015 seems an appropriate time to explore the industrial gases business in Eastern Europe. Little over a year since both political and military fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine, few could have foreseen quite how deep this conflict could run.

In addition to the human cost of war in the region, the current stand-off over the Ukrainian crises has led to economic sanctions, a decline in an important export market for European manufacturers, and an expected slowdown in industrial gas investments.

But, continued political uncertainty aside, 2015 also marks a decade of industrial gas proliferation in Eastern Europe. Until 2005, there was only one major industrial gas company that had been actively involved in the industrial gases business in Russia since the demise of the Soviet Union – Linde. The company had been active in the country via AGA’s global business, acquired in 1999/2000.

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