Academic journal article UTMS Journal of Economics

Clusters as a Model of Economic Development of Serbia

Academic journal article UTMS Journal of Economics

Clusters as a Model of Economic Development of Serbia

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Insufficient competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in Serbia can be significantly improved by a system of business associations through clusters, business incubators and technology parks. This connection contributes to the growth and development of not only the cluster members, but has a regional and national dimension as well because without it there is no significant breakthrough on the international market. The process of association of small and medium enterprises in clusters and other forms of interconnection in Serbia is far from the required and potential level.The awareness on the importance of clusters in a local economic development through contributions to the advancement of small and medium sized enterprises is not yet sufficiently mature. Support to associating into clusters and usage of their benefits after the model of highly developed countries is the basis for leading a successful economic policy and in Serbia there are all necessary prerequisites for it.

Keywords: clusters, small and medium enterprises, competitiveness, economic development.

Jel Classification: Ol

INTRODUCTION

In today's economic environment, the clusters represent a very important way of connecting small and medium-sized enterprises and development of entrepreneurship. They contribute to the economic development of certain regions, and are particularly important for increasing exports and internationalization of the region. The effects of association in clusters are the introduction of new technologies and innovations, the introduction and improvement of quality standards and processes within the cluster, associating across various sectors and strategic alliance, access to new markets, increase of exports, and the effects of economies of scale. Associated small and medium enterprises are becoming a more important partner in dealing with large companies as part of their production chain, research institutes and universities, financial institutions and policy makers.

Cluster policy has become one of the priority development policies of the European Union, with the widely accepted view that clusters are directed towards prosperity in terms of increased productivity, incentives to innovation, high technology and technological transfer, improvement of the quality system, greater competitiveness and overall economic growth. Companies linked to clusters achieve synergy effects arising from the interaction of improving connections and exchange of information, knowledge and personal experiences.

Business associations have become the reality of global economic activities and successful performance in the market, as the imperatives of growth and development of the company, increase of productivity and continual generating of innovation. The small and medium-sized enterprises sector is the holder of development, especially in the field of innovative activity, and the medium size of the organization becomes decisive for business success.

This paper will analyze the business environment in which sector of small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs (SMEs) operates in Serbia, the achieved level of clustering in the country, institutional and financial support to the process of association, the problems that hinder and slow down the increase in the competitiveness of the SME sector as a key precondition of their growth and development, as well as the perspective of cluster members and the association as a whole. By defining the importance of clustering on economic development and by comparative analysis with data of the EU countries and the region, a basis will be provided for supporting faster and more efficient development of these processes in the growth and development of SMEs sector. Drawing conclusions about the impact of clusters on the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises has been supported by empirical and inductive-deductive scientific method.

The aim of the work is the need to improve policies, programs and initiatives in order to increase opportunities for cluster formation in the Serbian economy, highlighting their importance and role in the new export-oriented model of economic development and suggesting future activities of public authorities, associations and individual companies in the direction, taking into account the experiences and examples of good practice of developed European countries. …

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