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SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2020

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

image of SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2020

The SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2020 – Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe is a unique benchmarking tool to assess and monitor progress in the design and implementation of SME policies against EU and international best practice. It is structured around the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), which provide a wide range of pro-enterprise measures to guide the design and implementation of SME policies. This report marks the third edition in this series, following assessments in 2012 and 2016. It provides a comprehensive overview of the state of play in the implementation of the ten SBA principles, and monitors progress made since 2016. It also identifies remaining challenges affecting SMEs in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and provides recommendations to address them based on EU and international good practice examples. The 2020 edition also features a novelty: An assessment of three new dimensions going beyond core SME policy (competition, contract enforcement and business integrity) looking at key structural reform priorities that are critical to establishing a level playing field for enterprises of all sizes and ownership types.

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Georgia: Small Business Act country profile

From an already strong position, Georgia has made further progress since 2016 by adopting a more strategic approach to small and medium-sized entrepreneurship development through targeted initiatives. The adoption of the SME Development Strategy 2016-2020 and respective action plans, the improvements made to entrepreneurial learning and women’s entrepreneurship, the continued simplification of business registration, and the increase in e-government services have drastically improved the operational environment for SMEs. Going forward – and with a view to seizing all the opportunities offered by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union – the Government of Georgia should prioritise the creation of level-playing-field conditions for enterprises of all sizes and provide for more-efficient enforcement of contracts and competition law. Moreover, strengthening the support provided to exporting SMEs (including targeted financing tools) would be of crucial importance – as would expanding the links between foreign direct investment and domestic businesses beyond pilot projects, to further attract quality FDI and increase the competitiveness of Georgian SMEs.

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