Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
WP-01-2019.E: Defining firm competitiveness: a multidimensional framework [PDF]Justine Falciola, UNIGE, Geneva, SwitzerlandMarion Jansen, ITC, Geneva, SwitzerlandValentina Rollo, ITC, Geneva, SwitzerlandShort description: Defining and measuring competitiveness remains a subject of interest as well as debate: policy makers need to understand how competitive their country is relative to others, and how their competitive position evolves overtime (Fagerberg et al, 2017). As such, well-known indicators of country performance have been developed over the years. While, the business and economic literature recognise that “It is the firms, not nations, which compete in international markets” (Porter, 1998), the existing indices do not asses the capabilities of businesses. This paper fills this gap by proposing a multidimensional framework of firm competitiveness. Through factor analysis, we test the framework using firm level data from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys on over 100 countries. Regression based sensitivity checks confirm that the firm level index built in this paper positively correlates with commonly used proxies of firm competitiveness, (i.e. labour productivity, the probability to export, etc.). The framework is applicable to firms of different size and export status.
The SME Competitiveness Outlook is ITC's flagship report, published annually since 2015. Each report provides an in-depth analysis on a particular topic related to the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - from their contribution to inclusive growth to their participation in regional value chains. The reports combine data analysis, academic insights, thought leader opinions, and case studies to provide guidance for policymakers, business managers, and trade and investment support institutions. In addition, the reports contain country profiles for over 80 countries with statistics on the competitiveness of SMEs.