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SMEs and industrial models in the Euro-Mediterranean zone

A study providing an overview of the issues raised by the progressive development of the economies in Mediterranean countries has recently been published by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

Th...
A study providing an overview of the issues raised by the progressive development of the economies in Mediterranean countries has recently been published by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

The report aims to describe the special position of SMEs in these developing economies and compare EU policy strategies to encourage their development. The report summarises the main differences in approach in the two regions. In the EU, due to the pressures of globalisation, the predominant development model detected is that of SMEs integrated into networks or linked to larger companies. The Mediterranean countries on the other hand are promoting the creation of new, independent SMEs by abolishing perceived obstacles to their development.

The final part of the report deals with the limits inherent in the assumption that the Mediterranean can learn from the experiences of Europe's SMEs. The discussion in this section focuses on the viability of providing incentives as a policy tool to establish networks of specialised and independent SMEs in the Mediterranean. This so-called transferability proposition is analysed in the context of the socio-economic traits detected by SMEs in both regions. A final section looks at EU programmes falling within the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.
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