SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2016

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

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The SME Policy Index is a benchmarking tool designed for emerging economies to assess SME policy frameworks and monitor progress in policy implementation over time. The Index has been developed by the OECD in partnership with the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2006.

For the Eastern Partner Countries, the assessment framework is structured around the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), providing a wide-range of pro-enterprise measures to guide the design and implementation of SME policies based on good practices promoted by the EU and the OECD. It is applied to the Eastern Partner Countries for the second time since 2012.

The Index identifies strengths and weaknesses in policy design and implementation, allows for comparison across countries and measures convergence towards good practices and relevant policy standards. It aims to support governments in setting targets for SME policy development and to identify strategic priorities to further improve the business environment. It also helps to engage governments in policy dialogue and exchange good practices within the region and with OECD and EU members.



Economic context and the role of SMEs in the Eastern partner countries

The Eastern partner (EaP) region is composed of six countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), which together cover 1.03 million km2 and contain 75.4 million people. The region is strategically located close to some very large markets (including the European Union, Russia and Turkey) and has a well-educated population (literacy is close to 99%). In 2014, the EaP countries generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of USD 315.7 billion. Ukraine is by far the largest EaP country, accounting for 40% of the region’s GDP in 2014, followed by Belarus and Azerbaijan, with 24% and 23.5% respectively in 2014 (IMF, 2015a).


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