Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Business Clusters: Promoting Enterprise in Central and Eastern Europe


Business ClustersClusters of firms and related organisations in a range of industry specialisations are a striking feature of the economic landscape in all countries. Their growth and survival depends on internal processes of specialisation, co-operation and rivalry, and knowledge flows that underpin the competitiveness of the firms within them. Cluster building is now among the most important economic development activities in OECD countries and beyond. This book looks at the importance and potential of cluster initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe as these countries integrate ever more strongly into the global economy. Existing clusters are mapped, recent policy advances are described and conclusions are drawn on the potential of business clusters to foster economic growth in the wider Central, East and South-East European region. 

Do clusters only occur spontaneously or can they be formally encouraged? What role do public authorities play? What, if any, is the impact of specific national political and economic initial conditions on cluster development? Which policies work best? These are just some of the questions raised in this publication, which provides practical insights on clusters and cluster policies to governments, local development practitioners and entrepreneurs alike.

This publication is one of the outputs of a major programme of conferences and research on cluster building in Central and Eastern Europe led by the OECD LEED Programme in collaboration with the Central European Initiative and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

You can download the executive summary of the publication free of charge.  Summaries are also available in Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak and Slovenian (see below).  To purchase this publication, please visit the OECD on-line bookshop.

For more information, please contact Mr Jon Potter from the LEED Programme.