Date of publication
30 October 2012
LAUNCH EVENT: Batumi, Georgia, 30-31 October 2012
On 30-31 October 2012, the launch of the SME Policy Index for Eastern Partner Countries brought together policy makers from the six countries of the Eastern Partner region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) and representatives from the OECD, European Commission, European Training Foundation and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The event was hosted by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia as part of the EU SME Panel under the Eastern Partnership Platform 2 on “Economic Integration and Convergence with EU Policies”.
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About the report
The Eastern Partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) are an important economic region, strategically located, with an average GDP growth that reached 5.4% in 2010. In all countries of the region SMEs play an important role as key engines for economic growth and development. Nevertheless, as a result of the recent global financial crisis and unfavourable conditions for doing business, SMEs today account for only 50% of employment (compared to 60-70% in OECD economies) and contribute just over 30% to value added (in comparison to 55% in OECD economies).
The SME Policy Index 2012 is a tool to support policy makers in tapping the full potential of SMEs as drivers for job creation and economic growth. Built on a set of 92 policy indicators, it provides a framework to assess national SME policies against the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), identifies strong and weak points in policy design and implementation, and provides a list of priority actions for reform in each country.
The Index builds on similar exercises carried out in the Western Balkans in 2006, 2009 and 2012, and the first assessment in the MEDA Region (EU’s Southern Neighbourhood) conducted in 2008.