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SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

image of SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 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 (EC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2006 for the Western Balkans. The South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL) joined as an additional partner in 2014. The SME Policy Index has since 2006 been applied in four regions and nine assessment rounds overall.



The SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016 presents the results of the fourth assessment of the Small Business Act for Europe in the Western Balkans and, since 2012, Turkey. The assessment framework is structured around the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA). It provides 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.



The Index identifies strengths and weaknesses in policy design, implementation and monitoring. It 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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Albania

Small Business Act country profile

Albania has been proactive in strengthening its institutional, regulatory and operational environment for SME development since the 2012 SBA Assessment. The Business Investment and Development Strategy for 2014-2020 frames the country’s policy for promoting the SME sector. Albania has introduced a new e-government portal which eases business operations and launched a new tax filing system which allows for the online filing of all taxes. The National Business Centre acts as central one-stop shop for businesses. In addition, Albania has improved its policy framework for entrepreneurial learning. Going forward, the government should pay particular attention to formalising its regulatory impact analysis and developing a proportional approach to its use. It should strengthen the institutional support mechanisms for bankruptcy by developing an early warning system and second chance programmes. The Albanian government authorities should ensure that actions outlined in its strategies are systematically implemented, monitored and evaluated. Developing the necessary infrastructure and financial instruments will be necessary to promote innovation within SMEs. Targeted support services would help SMEs acquire the skills to move into knowledge-intensive sectors. Non-banking sources of finance remain limited and should be broadened.

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