Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory
Chapter 19: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Policies in Europe, Latin America and Asia
Patrizio Bianchi, Sandrine Labory, Daniele Paci and Mario Davide Parrilli* 1 Introduction This chapter aims at providing an overview of recent SME policies in both developed and developing countries, focusing on the cases of three world regions, namely Europe, Latin America and Asia. We show that policies are rather speciﬁc in their implementation, owing to diﬀerences in history, in social and political context and in both tangible and intangible resources. However, some general trends can be outlined, such as the focus of policy on SME networking and on support for internationalization. These trends mainly result from the changes in the world political and economic context outlined in Chapter 1 and stylized in the term ‘globalization’. Their principal aspect is the acceleration of the increase in world trade and FDI that has occurred over the last 20 years or so, owing to numerous factors, including essentially the liberalization of trade within GATT rounds and later WTO discussions; the diﬀusion of information and communication technologies; and the development of new productive systems, replacing in most sectors the Fordist system of production. These factors have implied an increase in worldwide competition, inducing ﬁrms in many sectors to deﬁne strategies at world level, trying to be present on all markets. Products have been diﬀerentiated in order to meet the demands of the consumers in the various markets. Diﬀerentiation has been realized via more frequent product renewal. In this context, various authors have shown that the Fordist system of...
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