SME Policy Index: The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2014

Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

image of SME Policy Index: The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2014

This report assesses the elaboration and implementation of SME policy in eight Middle East and North African economies of the southern Mediterranean shore. The assessment is structured according to the ten policy principles covered in the Small Business Act for Europe (the SBA). One of the main findings is that over the last five years there has been progress in SME policy elaboration and implementation in spite of the political and economic turmoil. However, that progress has been modest, incremental and uneven across economies and dimensions. Political and economic stability, as well as institutional development, had a major impact on policy performance.

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Supporting SMEs to benefit from Euro-Mediterranean networks and partnerships

SBA principle: Help SMEs to benefit more from the opportunities offered by the single market

This chapter analyses policies and initiatives to promote Euro-MED networks and partnerships. The analysis indicates that all MED economies have at least one project (in some cases pilot projects) to promote the development of business clusters and networks, although a connection to Euro-MED initiatives is missing in some cases. Priority actions include promoting intra-MED business networks and partnerships, since most initiatives are focused on co-operation with EU economies and there are few examples of “south-south” co-operation. Enterprise networks and partnerships could also be extended beyond R and D and technology-based projects; without denying the relevance of those projects, extending support for Euro-MED enterprise co-operation to other economic activities could also prove fruitful for enterprise development and job creation.

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