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Business Clusters

Promoting Enterprise in Central and Eastern Europe

image of Business Clusters

Clusters of firms and related organisations in a range of industry specialisations are a striking feature of the economic landscape in all countries. Their growth and survival depends on internal processes of specialisation, co-operation and rivalry, and knowledge flows that underpin the competitiveness of the firms within them. Cluster building is now among the most important economic development activities in OECD countries and beyond. This book looks at the importance and potential of cluster initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe as these countries integrate ever more strongly into the global economy. Existing clusters are mapped, recent policy advances are described and conclusions are drawn on the potential of business clusters to foster economic growth in the wider Central, East and South East European region. 

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Clusters

Definition and Methodology

Local productive systems, industrial districts or clusters describe the tendency of firms in related lines of business and their supporting organisations to concentrate geographically. By clustering together, firms can achieve economies of scale and scope and lower their transaction costs. Various cluster types exist depending on their firm composition, industry sector, cluster raison-d’être and organisation. Recently, the cluster concept has attracted criticism drawing attention to the oft-neglected limitations of the cluster concept and consequently, cluster policies. The importance of clustering in the post-communist context is outlined, as well as cluster research methods and the methodology of the current publication.

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