OECD Capacity Building Seminar in Trento, Italy, 2014
On 19-22 May 2014, Trento, Italy, hosted the OECD capacity building seminar “UPGRADING THE SME POLICY INDEX: Innovation and Business Support Services, SME Internationalisation, Green Growth”. This seminar was organised by the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme within the framework of the “Supporting SME Competitiveness in the Eastern Partner Countries” and the “SME Policy Index 2014-2015” projects. Organised with the financial support of the European Union, these projects aim to support SME policy development in the six Eastern Partner countries participating in the OECD Eastern Europe and South Caucasus (EESC) Initiative (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine).
The seminar aimed at exchanging good practices in SME policy implementation and upgrading the SME Policy Index methodology, allowing for an improved and more accurate assessment of policies in a new 2014-2015 EU Small Business Act (SBA) assessment cycle of Eastern Partner countries. The SME Policy Index methodology was developed by the OECD, the European Commission, the European Training Foundation (ETF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and has been applied since 2006 to 33 economies in the Eastern Partnership region, the Middle East and North-Africa, ASEAN, as well as the Western Balkans and Turkey.
Participants exchanged experiences and discussed common challenges in developing and implementing SME strategies, programmes and actions in line with the OECD recommendations ions stemming from past and ongoing country projects. The seminar addressed the following themes as key priorities for the development of coherent SME policy frameworks in the Eastern Partner countries:
i) Innovation and business support services;
ii) SME internationalisation;
iii) Green growth.
Participants presented their own programmes and policies, and discussed with international experts and practitioners the approaches and policy options adopted to tackle similar challenges. Prof. Dimitri Japaridze, head of the Business Research Centre at Ilia State University made the presentation of the Georgian SME’s capacities for innovation (see more).