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ITC’s concept of competitiveness

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    Competitiveness is complex. Dimensions include time, scale, space and scope. The ITC definition is independent of firm size, and reflects the rapidly changing environment in which firms operate:

    “Competitiveness is the demonstrated ability to design, produce and commercialize an offer that fully, uniquely and continuously fulfils the needs of targeted market segments, while connecting with and drawing resources from the business environment, and achieving a sustainable return on the resources employed.”

    The ITC Competitiveness definition is explained in more detail in the SME Competitiveness Outlook 2015. In brief, competitiveness is classified according to pillars and levels of competitiveness.

    The pillars of competitiveness

    • Compete This represents the static dimension of competitiveness. It assesses whether current production is efficient and meets market requirements.
    • Connect This represents the connectivity dimension of competitiveness. It acknowledges that to be competitive firms must link to customers, business, institutions, and be ICT- literate.
    • Change This represents the dynamic dimension of competitiveness. It assesses whether firms have the capacity to make investments to adapt to fast-changing markets.

    The levels of competitiveness

    • Firm capabilities This level assesses whether firms are managed according to best practices, need resources, and whether they have competencies to manage those resources.
    • Business ecosystem This level assesses whether the local business ecosystem, which is made up of business support institutions, supplies enterprises with the resources or competences they need to be competitive.
    • National environment This level assesses the macro-economic and regulatory environment enterprises operate under. The national environment is primarily set by government.


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