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Economic competitiveness

[ Summary ]


Chapter 3:
Implementing a strategy to boost economic competitiveness


3.5 Conclusion


Future studies on the economic competitiveness of rural areas will focus on analysing “good practices” and “appropriate solutions” to guide the activities of LEADER groups in the different types of area, at least in three spheres: boosting the endogenous ability to innovate, improving inter-institutional relations and consultation mechanisms, and forging stronger links between local businesses and markets.

a) With regard to boosting the endogenous innovation ability, the questions to be analysed might include:

    • How can the ability to innovate be enhanced by increasing exchanges and cooperation between local entrepreneurs and by boosting ‘direct’ learning processes (“learning by doing”, “learning by using”, “learning by imitation”)?

    • How is it possible to enhance local entrepreneurs’ ability to choose technology, and their receptiveness to it (buying patents, machinery, services), thereby introducing appropriate innovations into local businesses?

    • How can cooperation agreements and participation in networks help to surmount the innovation handicaps caused by dispersed human resources?

b) With regard to inter-institutional relations and consultation:

    • How can greater fluidity be fostered in relations between business and the political/institutional system?

    • How can public infrastructure investment and the needs of local businesses be better coordinated?

    • How can support be increased for an area’s new collective players that emerge as a result of marketing, promotion and technology-access agreements?

    • How can support be given to processes for matching the financial provision to the needs of local businesses?

c) With regard to links with markets:

    • How can the access of local products to national or even international markets be facilitated?

    • How can the marketing skills of local entrepreneurs be enhanced?

    • How can support be given to improving product quality in order to prevent businesses from focusing too much on price- competitiveness?

    • How can the image of local products be promoted and asserted in a market that is going global?

    Some of these questions relate to the acquisition of global competitiveness, which is the subject of part five of this series.

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