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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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Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Small Business Act country profile

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is one of the most advanced economies in the region in promoting its SME sector. Its institutional framework and operational environment continues to have a high level of EU SME policy convergence. Although it has a fairly solid policy framework in place, it needs to make further efforts to ensure the proper delivery of services meeting the needs of SMEs. Its innovation framework for SMEs has been significantly improved by the introduction of a strategy, law and fund, building the foundations for the promotion of innovation among SMEs. The banking regulatory framework has been further strengthened by aligning it more closely with Basel II principles. Technical standards and regulations are fairly well aligned with the European Union. The e-procurement system has been further developed since 2012 and the entrepreneurship promotion and skills agenda is being successfully implemented. Moving forward, SME development policy should be anchored in a higher level national strategy, allowing these reforms and programmes to continue to effectively promote SME development. Regular monitoring of activities and light evaluation of support programmes should be encouraged to ensure that the needs of SMEs are met and to justify government funding. Sources of non-banking financing should be encouraged, to diversify the financial base for SMEs and ease their access to finance.

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