Synthesis Documents

Serbia Competitiveness Assessment & Political Economy Analysis, USAID, 2016

    Description
    This assessment seeks to identify the key factors constraining Serbia’s private MSME sector, and its ability to grow and compete, particularly in EU markets and against the companies and products of EU member states.

    This assessment utilized the Applied Political Economy Analysis (PEA) methodology to identify the constraints and establish the causal factors for those constraints.

    Methods for info gathering
    The assessment team, at times accompanied by USAID staff members, interviewed 149 MSMEs and support actors, examining the institutional framework and actors. Interviewed MSME-support actors included donors and their implementing partners, national and local public institutions, Chambers of Commerce, RDAs, associations and clusters and others throughout the country.

    Summary of results
    The PEA framework was used to identify the main contributing factors for the current state of MSME competitiveness and innovation; the PEA framework identifies identified constraints that are amenable to change.

    These can be categorized in the following areas: ineffective institutional and policy support structure; lack of access to finance; flourishing gray market; underdeveloped supply chains; education system not responsive to labor market demands; lack of access to information; weak networks, linkages and cooperation of both MSMEs and institutions; lack of modern management skills and tools; and marginal donor effectiveness. For each of these constraints the team prepared a list of potential programming recommendations.