44th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regions and Fiscal Federalism", 25th - 29th August 2004, Porto, Portugal
The present paper was motivated by the recent interest put on the regional context as having a major role tracing economic agents behaviours and inducing productive activity. Three main goals have been defined: to emphasise the relation between favourable regional factors for development and firm performance in the case of the most industrialised Portuguese regions; to distinguish in each region its own propensity for sustainable development and to evaluate if the region may be considered as intrinsic co-operative or resistant to co-operation. Methodologically, the analysis followed three major steps: 1) selection of regions with industrial characteristics; 2) creation and use of the endogenous growth capacity indicators; 3) consequent analysis of the SMEs (small and medium size firms) behaviour’s evolution. Based on Multivariate Analysis, the following regions were selected: Ave, Entre Douro e Vouga, Baixo Vouga, Pinhal Litoral and Península de Setúbal. Basically, they represent the areas where industrial activity is predominant in Portugal. When comparing the observed local environmental conditions of these regions with the results for the performance of their small firms, some conclusions could be achieved, regarding to three major issues: the relation between regional development factors development and firm performance; the regional propensity for sustainable development and the regional adequacy to networking. Key words: territorial systems of production; local endogenous capacities; SMEs performance.
territorial systems of production local endogenous capacities SMEs performance