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Abstract

It is quite widely believed that well developed clusters are vehicles for competitiveness and innovation. In the paper we test a hypothesis that occurrence of strong clusters in a country’s agro-food sector is positively related to its international competitiveness. Using the European Cluster Observatory dataset on cluster mapping and WTO data on international trade we have looked for correlation between relative strength of the clusters in the EU countries agro-food sectors and international trade measures of competiveness such as RCA, RMA and RC indices. We found that the EU countries differ in terms of both occurrence and relative strength of the agro-food clusters and levels of comparative advantage in agriculture commodities and food products. However, statistical evidence for relationships between variables under consideration appeared to be weak what leads to some suggestions regarding cluster mapping methodology and further studies in this area which could allow to formulate useful policy recommendations.

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