The Role of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
Edited by Charles Harvie and Boon-Chye Lee
Chapter 4: The New National Accounts and International Standards in the Assessment of Enterprises and Sectors of the Economy
Dudley Jackson 4.1 INTRODUCTION One of the consequences of globalization is likely to be the development of uniform international standards for the assessment of enterprises and of economic sectors, and one of the consequences of the Asian economic and ﬁnancial crisis is certain to be the application of this sort of assessment. The assessment of a sector of an economy is an important issue because such an assessment promotes ‘transparency’ in the economy and hence provides early warning signs of economic problems, each of which was sadly lacking in the 1997 ‘Asian’ economic crisis which aﬀected the countries of South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.1 The development of a uniform and internationally standardized set of assessments, or economic indicators, is being made possible by the adoption, now in progress, of the new United Nations System of National Accounts 1993 (abbreviated as the SNA93) and consequential changes to balance-of-payments statistics and to the reporting of government transactions under the Government Finance Statistics (GFS) framework. The countries of the European Community are implementing the SNA93 under the rubric of the European System of Accounts 1995 (the ESA95), but the ESA95 is merely a strict standard for implementing the SNA93, so the ESA95 is not in any sense a competing system of national accounts.2 This chapter introduces the main features of the SNA93, and then discusses, with illustrative data, various measures of assessment which may be applied to the ‘enterprise sector’ of the economy – technically, comprising the sector of non-ﬁnancial corporations...
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