Competitiveness in South East Europe 2021

A Policy Outlook

image of Competitiveness in South East Europe 2021

The future sustainable economic development and well-being of citizens in South East Europe depend on greater economic competitiveness. Reinforcing the region’s economic potential in a post-COVID-19 context requires a holistic, inclusive and growth‑oriented approach to policy making. Against the backdrop of enhanced European Union (EU) accession prospects and a drive towards deeper regional integration, the governments of the six Western Balkan (WB6) economies have demonstrated a renewed commitment to enacting policy reforms.

The third edition of Competitiveness in South East Europe: A Policy Outlook comprehensively assesses policy reforms in the WB6 economies across 16 policy dimensions crucial to their competitiveness. It leverages a highly participatory assessment process, which brought together the views of OECD experts, WB6 policy makers and local non-governmental stakeholders to create a balanced and realistic depiction of their performance. The report seeks to provide WB6 policy makers with a multi-dimensional benchmarking tool, enabling them to compare performance against regional peers as well as OECD good practices, and to design future policies based on rich evidence and actionable policy recommendations.

Economy-specific profiles complement the regional assessment for the first time in this edition of Competitiveness in South East Europe: A Policy Outlook, and provide each WB6 economy with an in-depth analysis of their competitive potential as well as policy recommendations tailored to their specific challenges to inform their structural economic reforms and sustainable development agenda.


Agriculture policy (Dimension 14)

Agriculture is a key pillar of the Western Balkan economies, providing a significant share of total employment, and is one of the three most important sectors in terms of contribution to GDP. With this in mind, this chapter assesses the performance of agriculture policies in the six Western Balkan economies (WB6), looking at four sub-dimensions. The first, agro-food system capacity focuses on rural infrastructure capacity (particularly irrigation) and the role of skills and education in productive, sustainable and competitive agriculture. The second sub-dimension looks at the effectiveness of agro-food system regulations in safeguarding public safety and the environment in two areas: inputs and crop products, and natural resources such as land and water. The third, agricultural support systems, covers the policy, governance and instruments in the agricultural sector. Finally, the agricultural innovation system sub-dimension considers innovation and extension services – key tools in an economy’s path towards productive and sustainable agriculture. Each sub-dimension provides recommendations for the way forward.



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