Gail Edmondson's fantasy of Gates's heartburn over poor entrepreneurial conditions in France, alluding to the "Polish option," is dead on ("Once upon a time, Bill Gates came to France...," International Business, Feb. 10).

Readers from the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary should understand the potential competitive advantage their countries enjoy. This advantage might not be obvious because so much time and effort is being spent bringing these countries and economies into compliance with EU standards--perhaps creating some of the problems that Ms. Edmondson is concerned with.

Effort to renew those economies should look beyond simple imitation of Western Europe and consider leapfrogging approaches that will contribute to the competitiveness of all of Europe.

Robert D. Manz

Helmer & Associates/

Technos Hungary

Milton, Mass.

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