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Competitiveness in South East Europe

A Policy Outlook

image of Competitiveness in South East Europe

Future economic development and the wellbeing of citizens in South East Europe (SEE) depend more than ever on greater economic competitiveness. To underpin the drive to improve competitiveness and foster private investment, an integrated policy approach is needed. This first edition of Competitiveness in South East Europe: A Policy Outlook seeks to help policy makers in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, and Serbia assess their progress towards their growth goals and benchmark them against the good practices adopted by OECD countries and the performance of their regional peers.

This report addresses 15 policy dimensions critical to competitive economies that draw on the South East Europe 2020 Strategy (SEE 2020), a regional growth strategy drawn up by the Regional Cooperation Council and adopted by SEE governments in 2013. The qualitative assessments presented herein use scoring frameworks to enable regional comparisons. A participatory assessment process – that brings together regional policy networks and organisations, policy makers, independent experts and the private sector – ensures a balanced view of performance.

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Access to finance in South East Europe

Governments can help facilitate enterprises’ access to the external financing that they need to expand their operations or invest in new capacities and capital goods. This chapter analyses policy development and implementation in five sub-dimensions that make up the Access to Finance Dimension. The Regulatory and Institutional Framework Sub-Dimension examines credit information services, movable asset registration systems, cadastres, collateral requirements, and personal and corporate banking procedures. The second sub-dimension, Access to Bank Finance, assesses banking sector competition and consumer protection and credit guarantee schemes. The Access to Equity Finance Sub-Dimension evaluates enterprises’ use of stock markets, venture capital and business angel networks. The Alternative Sources of Financing Sub-Dimension evaluates if enterprises have access to leasing, factoring, crowd-funding and micro-finance financing options. Finally, the Financial Readiness Sub-Dimension examines the strategies that are in place to help the general population and entrepreneurs better understand the role of financial markets and how to use them.

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