Industrial Clusters and SME Promotion in Developing Countries

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SMEs make up the bulk of enterprises in developing countries and make a significant contribution to employment and economic growth. This paper takes stock of best practices in industrial clustering and SME promotion in Commonwealth developing countries. It provides examples of cluster formation, policies to stimulate cluster development and guidelines for business development services for SMEs.



Summary and Conclusions: Maintaining a Balance

Business-related policies and services have frequently been developed and delivered in order to benefit to “all” SMEs. Public policy makers are naturally wary of initiatives that would appear to direct resources to one group unless they can offset this by offering comparable resources to all, or at least to many. There are some priorities in policy-based interventions that systematically favour particular groups or activities: for example, increasing gender equity, promoting environmentally sensitive development, and improving working and employment conditions (ILO, 1997).


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