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OECD Economic Surveys: Netherlands 2014

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This 2014 edition of OECD's Economic Survey of the Netherlands examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. It also includes special chapters covering boosting the development of efficient SMEs and making the banking sector more resilient.

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Boosting the development of efficient SMEs

Entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth, job creation and competitiveness. However, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector has been severely affected by the crisis, with access to bank finance being particularly difficult. Various government-sponsored schemes have been introduced to ease credit conditions. Developing alternatives to bank lending options for SME finance is important but will take time. Restructuring banks’ balance sheets is essential to step up bank lending to SMEs in the medium term. Beyond financing issues, boosting innovation would support productivity gains, and SME competitiveness and growth. Also, easing labour market regulation would further support SME development. A large share of small businesses consists of self-employed with no employees. The tax system should minimise distortions for the creation and expansion of businesses. Despite significant progress made in lowering barriers to entrepreneurship, there is scope to further reduce administrative burdens.

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