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International Handbook on Industrial Policy

Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory

This timely and much-needed Handbook reconsiders an old topic from a fresh perspective, raising a number of new, interesting and worthwhile issues in the wake of ten years of globalization. This comprehensive analysis illustrates that old-style industrial policies whereby the government directly intervened in markets, and was often the producer itself, are no longer relevant. Structural changes occurring in economies – summarized in the term ‘globalization’ – are triggering the definition and implementation of new industrial policies. The contributors, leading experts in their field, unite to evaluate this shift of over a decade ago.
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Chapter 19: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Policies in Europe, Latin America and Asia

Patrizio Bianchi, Sandrine Labory and Daniele Paci


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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