Clusters for Competitiveness: A Practical Guide and Policy Implications for Developing Cluster Initiatives
95 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2009 Last revised: 6 May 2009
Date Written: February 20, 2009
This practical guide offers a unique design for projects aiming to enhance industrial competitiveness in developing countries. An industrial cluster is an agglomeration of companies, suppliers, service providers, and associated institutions in a particular field. This unit of analysis proves crucial in substantiating industrial policy discussions and it certainly complements economy-wide analyses. A cluster-based approach encourages engagement with a diverse group of stakeholders through which they may develop a shared understanding of the underlying public policy issues and act on them jointly. Developing such a joint platform with strong ownership by the public and private sector stakeholders is often crucial in jump starting more comprehensive economic reform processes in developing countries. In the meantime, clusters offer an interdisciplinary approach through which policymakers may focus more on challenges that may be industry-specific, society-specific or policy-specific. It is the subtleties and nuances at these levels which help develop a meaningful understanding as to how economic policies are being translated into practices and what responses are needed to ensure an incremental path to competitiveness that fully takes into consideration the local bottlenecks and opportunities.
Keywords: industrial clusters, competitiveness, networking, value chains, institutions, export
JEL Classification: A14, L22, L23, L52, M11
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