The paper examines the influence of international cooperative ventures on indigenous firms in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. It has been widely recognized that multinational enterprises (MNEs) predominately utilize these ventures to rationalize their international production. However, research has rarely focused on the gains of CEE firms in these ventures. The paper applies the concept of distinct capabilities to characterize the ability of CEE firms to adequately absorb technological knowledge and skills from these ventures. In examining the characteristics of distinct capabilities empirically, the paper uses a sample of 35 firms in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland in seven different high-technology industries. The paper suggests that CEE firms in technology-intensive industries were rarely able to increase their technology base as a result of their venturing activity.