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SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2019

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

image of SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2019

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.

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Operational environment for SMEs (Dimension 4) in the Western Balkans and Turkey

This chapter assesses the availability, quality and responsiveness of the public services available for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Western Balkans and Turkey. It starts by outlining the assessment framework, then presents the analysis of Dimension 4’s four sub-dimensions: 1) digital government services for enterprises, which measures the extent to which SMEs can interact with public institutions through the use of digital technologies; 2) company registration, which focuses on the procedures necessary to register a company; 3) business licensing, which considers the complexities of the process of obtaining a licence; and 4) tax compliance procedures for SMEs, which examines whether tax systems are adapted to SMEs’ unique needs. Each sub-dimension section makes specific recommendations for increasing the capacity and efficiency of the operational environment for SMEs in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

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