Since the beginning of the crisis in 2007, the OECD countries have lost 9 million jobs. However, new jobs were also created during this time, and 50% of them were generated by young companies, which exist no longer than 5 years, emphasises Paweł Wojciechowski, ambassador and Permanent Representative in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In the OECD countries, one company out of five is less than five years old. These are mostly small and medium-sized companies. They have large potential for growth and in the case of Poland, it is important to ensure they have access to financing, including EU funds, explains Paweł Wojciechowski. How much money will be given to innovative small and medium-sized companies will be the litmus test of the effectiveness of the policy to support business.
As the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, informs, by 2020 one fifth of the GDP of the European Union should come from industry. This trend is the result of the return of politicians and economists to the idea of the key role of industry. It is important, however, that the traditional industry, destructive for the environment, is abandoned in favour of production using innovative, green technologies. All projects which will enable the companies to develop, which will be effective, are welcome, says Paweł Wojciechowski.
The OECD Ambassador emphasises that it is not only about cohesion policy and regional policy. It is also the matter of supporting, by various EU funds, the building of hard infrastructure, for example industry clusters, as well as soft infrastructure. This is what the programmes increasing innovation are intended to do, adds Paweł Wojciechowski.
An example of this kind of activity is the programme implemented in the Netherlands - Top Secret, within the frames of which nine sectors were selected, in which supporting innovative companies is important. According to Paweł Wojciechowski, the so-called old industrial policy, based on a specific sector and selected companies, did not really work. This gives rise to temptations such as lobbying, accusations of corruption and favouring specific companies. Therefore, it is rather about selecting some sectors and considering how we can help them in a practical way, so that they are more competitive, by building soft and hard infrastructure, which will produce environment for creating knowledge-based economy in the future, he sums up.