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BALKAN-MEXICO Transnational SME Trade and Clusters Collaboration

From the 15th to the 17th of May 2017, Puerto Vallarta - Mexico hosted the 13th INSME Annual Meeting on “Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains”.

The Cluster House Balkan and Black Sea Cluster Network would like to thank to The INSME Association and The Mexican Institute of the Entrepreneur - INADEM for giving an opportunity to the network coordinator to be present at the 13th INSME Annual Meeting which gathered over 700 participants from 68 countries.

At the 13th INSME Annual Conference Meeting conference participants discussed about specific issues that hinder SMEs from effective participation in global value chains, opportunities to enhance SMEs productivity through innovation, transferrable and measurable global best practices to catalyse growth of SMEs  and  access new channels and markets.

The conference had been opened by Mr. Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal - Minister of Economy, followed by media.

The Conference was an opportunity to explore ideas to improve SME productivity in GVCs. Policy makers from the host country Mexico and OAS (Organization of American States) member countries engage in a constructive dialogue with INSME members and innovation stakeholders to improve SMEs competitiveness through innovation.

The first session on “The Open Innovation Paradigm and the Internationalization of R&D: challenges and opportunities for SMEs” had been moderated by Dr. Hamsa Thota - President, Innovation Business Development-IBD, United States of America.


Dr. Danka Milojkovic, director of the Cluster House and a member of the Global TCI Network , was a guest speaker in the first session with a presentation on the topic “The transnational cluster collaboration platforms as a powerful tool for encouraging micro, small and medium enterprises to access to the global market” .

The Cluster House Model for SME development in developing countries and countries with transitional economies consists of the set of practically applicable tools for improving competitiveness of SMEs in the Balkan and Black Sea Region. The Balkan and Black Sea Cluster Network is the cluster-based SME collaboration platform designed on value creation between academia, industry and public sector in the region.

Business collaboration in the form of clusters is an economic model which ensures decrease of costs, better access to specialised services, new technologies and new markets. The cluster-based transnational cooperation programme (further referred to as CBTCP) between beneficiary regions is contributing to the entrepreneurial-based economic development of the both regions through support of new models of business cooperation and specialisation. In this way, the programme complies with the overall regional strategic goal for strengthening economical cohesion between regions, its competitiveness and sustainable development through co-operation in the economic, social and environmental area. The CBTCP corresponds to the increasing the economic synergy in both regions and improving the capacity of joint use of potential for improving regions wellbeing and joint participation on the global market.

The CBTCP implementation ensures the aggregation and exchange of data on clusters and cluster initiatives in the both beneficiary regions; sharing of knowledge, best practices and new concepts in cluster development suitable for transfer between the partners; the networking and facilitation of inter-cluster collaboration across regions and sectors generating opportunities for business, innovation and internationalisation, with particular regard to export oriented small and medium size enterprises; exchange of experiences in building cluster initiatives in new and emerging industries, improving cluster organisation performance by training and evaluation schemes, and optimizing cluster policy towards cluster excellence and effective capitalisation of values generated by managed clustering; joint organisation of the events and projects aiming at the partners’ priorities, regional economic growth and the goals of the regional cluster development policies.

The cluster-based transnational collaboration programmes contribute to the following:

  • creation of a highly trustworthy and ethical work environment that provides long-term employment in the  specific economic sectors determined after survey;
  • reduction of the share of population living below poverty in the programme beneficiary regions;
  • Implementation of the cluster-based economic development model in the countries with transitional economies.

The CBTCP strategy is focused on improvement of the capacity, through meetings, surveys, joint web site, and promotion and business trips, of the cluster members and other stakeholders to further develop the cluster approach and practices at transnational collaboration level. The CBTCP aims at the public-private dialogue development as a pre-condition for sustainable economic development in the region. Information and publicity events for popularization of clusters in the beneficiary regions are tools for export trade collaboration improvement between both regions, involvement of new members in the existing clusters and promotion of the clusters networks created by the programme to the markets of other regions/continents.