STUDIES ON NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS AT THE TIME OF GLOBALIZATION AND ECONOMIC INTEGRATION; SOME CRITICAL REMARKS ON THE ISSUE
The competitiveness problem has been analyzed under various names both on the macro and micro level for decades. The point is, however, that there was little controversy when we were dealing with the micro level of competitiveness and a lot of controversy and confusion when we discussed a macro or national (or country) competitiveness. The problem of an irrelevance of the macro concept has been raised amid the progress of the regional economic integration as well as due to the fact that globalization and technological advancements have significantly reduced or eliminated entirely most of the barriers to a free flow of goods, capital and services worldwide. As a consequence of these developments for most corporations to stay competitive there has been less of a national market problem as opposed to a global market problem. Corporations need to know now how to proceed to sell their products and stay competitive both on local markets and worldwide at the same time and that is what is really important. Ergo, what we should focus on when studying competitiveness is a company competitiveness problem. In other words, many economists and experts suggest strongly that we should stop talking 'national competitiveness' and shall start to think in terms of a company competitiveness although in terms of an international framework. The author would argue in this paper that contrary to the opinion of a number of reputable experts who question the validity of the macro approach to competitiveness (see Paul Krugman for example), there is such thing as national or country competitiveness. Although its definition is usually too broad and methodology to asses country competitiveness has been highly flawed quite often , nonetheless one can come to the conclusion, when studying numerous reports and country data analyses, that we may still easily define and assess country competitiveness concept by employing both standard and a bit sophisticated tools . What is more, in author's opinion, country competitiveness is critical for company competitiveness at least as far as institutional framework of a country and a direction of macroeconomic policy are concerned because quality of institutions and stability of macroeconomic policy always have had a decisive impact on the level of transaction costs all firms are concerned with. He would argue that in recent years, research on country competitiveness has become an important part of economic studies . The studies have become a kind of conglomerate which integrates numerous branches of economic analyses and helps, when the analysis is well done, to work out appropriate development strategies for many countries. One reservation should be expressed, however, that both methodology to asses competitiveness and recommendations for pro-competitive economic policy of a country may depend on the particular country development level and/or the cultural heritage which may alter quite a bit , in turn, the standard type of recipe for the country economic policy to enhance competitiveness.
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