Sector Specific Sources of Competitiveness in the Western Balkans

Recommendation for a Regional Investment Strategy

image of Sector Specific Sources of Competitiveness in the Western Balkans

The Western Balkan region benefits from a cost-competitive labour force and geographic and cultural proximity to EU markets. However, cost competitiveness as a source of differentiation is not sustainable. Cost levels are increasing gradually in some sectors, reducing firms’ profitability. In order to sustain competitiveness, the Western Balkans needs to move up the value chain, from investing in automated technology to producing higher-quality goods and enhancing its human capital. This report examines the apparel manufacturing, automotive components and business process and technology outsourcing sectors, focusing on market competitiveness factors, industry key success factors and policy recommendations.



Business Process and Information Technology Outsourcing

Business process and technology outsourcing (BPTO) refers to sharing organisational control of any company process including information and communication technology (ICT), human resources (HR), finance and accounting (F&A), sales, marketing, customer service and supply chain management to reduce costs. The BPTO sector includes firms either specialised in a segment such as call centres or finance or offering a full range of outsourcing services including HR, accounting, payroll, IT etc. Examples of such full service BPTO firms are EDS, Accenture, Capgemini. 


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