SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2019

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

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Robust SME sectors are critical to the prosperity of the six Western Balkan economies and Turkey, accounting for over 70% of those employed in the business sector and generating 65% of value added in these seven economies. Yet their potential remains untapped, as SMEs across the region grapple with numerous challenges that hamper their growth and productivity. They are still under-represented in international trade, and their contributions to value-added remain comparatively low as they have difficulties in moving or expanding into high value-added activities.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the implementation of the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) in the seven EU pre-accession economies over the period 2016-18. It monitors progress against similar assessments performed over the past decade and identifies the outstanding challenges affecting SMEs. It also provides targeted recommendations to remove barriers to SME development and unleashing their potential for driving inclusive economic growth.



Internationalisation of SMEs (Dimension 10) in the Western Balkans and Turkey

This chapter assesses the performance of the Western Balkans and Turkey in supporting the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It starts by providing an overview of the assessment framework and progress since the last assessment in 2016. It then analyses the three sub-dimensions of Dimension 10: 1) export promotion, which explores government support and initiatives to help SMEs export their goods and services; 2) integration of SMEs into global value chains, which asks whether governments have planned and implemented programmes to help SMEs integrate globally; and 3) promoting the use of e-commerce, which examines the economies’ frameworks for facilitating SMEs’ engagement with the digital economy. Each sub-dimension section makes specific recommendations for increasing the capacity and efficiency of systems to support SME internationalisation in the Western Balkans and Turkey



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