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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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Trade policy and facilitation in South East Europe

Open, predictable and transparent trade policies facilitate cross-border economic activities and idea flows. This chapter on the Trade Policy and Facilitation Dimension focuses on three sub-dimensions in its assessment of trade performance and policy development. The Trade Policy Development Sub-Dimension analyses government capacities for designing, implementing and evaluating trade policy that incorporates institutional co-ordination and public-private consultations. The Trade Liberalisation Sub-Dimension examines international agreements and domestic laws to determine how open an economy is to trade in goods and services. The Trade Facilitation Sub-Dimension describes the extent to which non-tariff barriers – technical barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, administrative barriers, and non-automatic import licences – hinder trade.

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