Industrial clusters in a post-socialist country: The case of the wine industry in Slovakia

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Abstract

Research on clusters, unlike cluster initiatives, has not been comprehensively addressed in European post-socialist countries. The aim of this paper is to explore and to analyse quantitatively the spatial organisation of economic activities in the wine industry in Slovakia, and to assess it in terms of the concept of an industrial cluster. The wine industry is considered as a production sector in which location is determined by geographical factors. The research is based on a case study of a wine region located north-east of Bratislava, Slovakia. The primary identification of the cluster potential is based on the assessment of geographic conditions and statistical analyses focused on the spatial concentration of the industry within the defined area. An extensive questionnaire survey provided data for assessing the spatial organisation of economic activities and their impact on regional competitive advantage. Despite the spatial distribution of economic activities and relations among business entities affected by socialist industrialisation and post-socialist transformation, the results show that the industrial cluster was formed in the wine industry and its performance converges with the wine clusters in traditional Western European wine regions.

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