CLUSTERS AS A FACTOR INFLUENCING REGIONAL POLICY AND COMPETITIVENESS
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The regional policy is a priority of the European Union since too large disparities between and within its member states have been remaining over the past decades, which results in huge differences in regional competitiveness of the EU countries. This paper analyses the diverse impact of clusters on the competitiveness of highly developed and lesser developed regions on different stages of economic development in the world, EU and Latvia. The aim of this research is to evaluate the impact of clusters on regional policy and competitiveness. Methods used in the research include general and quantitative research methods. The methodological basis for defining the determinants of regional competitiveness is the three-stage system of economic development elaborated by the World Economic Forum. Firstly, the theoretical analysis of regional policies’ features is being conducted in the EU. It also includes the analysis of the development of theoretical approach of the regional policy and competitiveness, as well as the systematisation of structural elements, indicators and factors influencing regional competitiveness. Secondly, it analyses origin and nature of the cluster from the economic theory perspective, as well as provides an empirical assessment of the clusters’ impact on regional competitiveness from in the world, EU and Latvia. Finally, the paper provides conclusions on research findings about clusters’ interaction with regional policy and impact on competitiveness of regions in different stages of development.
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