This paper examines the link between the issue of competitiveness and innovation and their role in fostering higher living standards. The analysis is carried out at the level of both the firm and the country and then outlines some important policy implications. It appears that the innovative capacity of many of the European emerging markets would be enhanced considerably if the link between knowledge creation and its incorporation into marketable products could be strengthened. In many economies the basic national institutions supporting innovative activities could be improved, and the management of private firms have yet to fully appreciate the importance of innovative activity. The interrelationship between various economic policies, such as those for competition policy which seeks to limit firms’ market power, is also explored; it is found that these other policies often conflict with the objectives of increasing innovation and thus all these policies need to be formulated within a coherent framework that considers all these interactions.
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