EU4Business: From Policies to Action in the Eastern Partnership
The six countries of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) share a number of common strengths, including a highly educated workforce, a strategic geographic position and a recognition of the importance of improving the business environment. To leverage these strengths, the countries are progressively opening up their economies to trade and investment opportunities and are making efforts to converge with best policy practices and global standards. The project combines analytical work, knowledge transfer, capacity building and public-private dialogue. It enables Eastern Partner countries to strengthen their competitiveness, diversify their economies and increase resilience against external shocks by creating level-playing field conditions for SMEs, implementing business climate reforms, and developing benchmarking and monitoring tools to measure reform progress. The project is implemented by the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme with the financial support of the European Union’s EU4Business initiative.
Highlights of OECD Support to the Eastern Partnership
- The OECD supports Eastern Partner governments in developing better institutional frameworks for the private sector, and for SMEs in particular. It assists governments in preparing SME strategies and action plans, designing results-based monitoring systems, and introducing public-private dialogue to inform policy making. In Georgia, the OECD helped the government prepare the “SME Strategy Action Plan 2018-2020” and developed a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the progress in its implementation. In Azerbaijan, the OECD is assisting the Ministry of Economy in the implementation and monitoring of its national SME roadmap and in the design of policies to attract non-oil investment.
- The OECD strengthens the institutional capacity of governments to monitor and evaluate their competitiveness reforms. It also works with governments to improve the production, analysis and dissemination of harmonised business statistics. In Armenia and Ukraine, capacity-building activities have enabled national statistics offices and central banks to improve collection of structural and business demography statistics, and SME financing indicators.
- The OECD carries out a third round of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) assessment in 2018-2019 to provide regional benchmarking of SME support policies in the Eastern Partner region. The results will be published in a new edition of the OECD SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries. The Index has been developed by the OECD in partnership with the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Training Foundation. It identifies strengths and weaknesses in policy design and implementation, allows for comparison across countries and measures convergence towards EU SME policy standards.
- The project enables Eastern Partner countries to participate in OECD benchmarking tools to enable evidence-based policy making and international comparison of business environment reforms. This includes participation in the FDI-Regulatory Restrictiveness Index and the OECD Scoreboard: Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs.
- The OECD stimulates regional policy dialogue on reform implementation through the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Roundtable. The Roundtable is a platform for peer review and knowledge sharing on the implementation of competitiveness reforms in the thirteen partner countries of the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme.
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More information on www.eu4business.eu.