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SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2016

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

image of SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2016

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.

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Executive summary

The Eastern partner (EaP) region – made up of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – is home to 75 million people, and had a combined nominal GDP of USD 315.7 billion in 2014. The region benefits from a vast agricultural land area and considerable energy and natural resources, as well as a comparatively well-educated workforce. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have recently signed bilateral Association Agreements with the EU, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs), creating new opportunities for greater economic integration and trade. The region’s location close to the world’s largest single market (the EU), to Russia and to important economies in the Middle East and Asia also gives it a pivotal role in transport and energy networks.

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