Wednesday, 22 December 2021 15:29

Prospective Analysis of the SME Sector in the Western Balkans

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Atanasijević J (University of Novi Sad & GRETA), Corradin F (Ca’ Foscari University & GRETA), Sartore D (Ca’ Foscari University & GRETA), Uvalic M (University of Perugia & GRETA) and Volo F (Ca’ Foscari University & GRETA)
In collaboration with Cingolani M (European Investment Bank)

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  • Year: 2021
  • Abstract: The purpose of the analysis is a detailed study of Small and Medium‐sized Enterprises (SMEs) in six Western Balkan countries (WB6). The aim is to highlight their particular funding, advisory, and other needs to ensure their income and size growth. The EU has developed a policy to support the gradual integration of the Western Balkan countries with the Union. On July 1, 2013, Croatia became the first of the seven countries to join, and Montenegro, Serbia, the Republic of North Macedonia, and Albania are official candidates. Accession negotiations and chapters have been opened with Montenegro and Serbia, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidate countries. The core of the present study is the econometric analysis of available balance sheet data of Serbian SMEs, which represent 50% of SMEs in the Western Balkans region. The results obtained are therefore relevant for all the Western Balkans. At an international level, many studies have been published on the WB6, generally carried out through sample surveys. The added value of this research is to cope with the balance sheet data on the entire population of Serbian companies (legal entities) with over a million dinars in turnover in the last year available (2018). This population turned out to be made up of 64,962 entities. The study also undertakes an economic experimental treatment, taking advantage of the opportunity of the Apex loans provided by EIB (European Investment Bank) in favour of SMEs and medium‐sized firms, through the intermediation of the National Bank of Serbia. To this end, the database of financial statements was merged with the database of firms that received funding from the EIB Apex and appropriately anonymized. This study examines the effectiveness of the financial instruments used by SMEs in covering their needs in the period 2009‐2018 and the main non‐financial obstacles to their growth. Thus, key elements are provided for a prospective analysis of the SME sector from both a macro and microeconomic point of view. An essential reference is given by the STAges de REcherche BEI‐EIB research internships (STAREBEI) study on investment in the Western Balkans. In the perspective of a faster convergence of the WB6 region with the European Union, this study shows that the SME sector should develop very rapidly. In addition, the research also set itself the objective of evaluating how the tools offered by the Western Balkans Enterprise and Development Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) platform (equity, guarantees, advisory support and others, potentially to be developed) can best support the development of the private sector in WB6 countries.
Read 437 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 December 2021 15:37
Domenico Sartore

Emeritus Professor in Econometrics - Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Economics

GRETA Chairman, Promoting partner, Scientific and Finance Committees and Director of the Area Scenario Analysis

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