Danijela Despotovic, Dušan Cvetanović, Vladimir Nedic

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Knowledge and innovativeness are the key determinants of the competitiveness of countries in the contemporary economic conditions. Based on these facts, the paper presents a comparative analysis of readiness for the development of the knowledge economy, the achieved level of innovativeness and competitiveness of countries involved in the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA  and a group of selected EU countries), which used to be CEFTA members. The aim of the study is to assess differences in the levels of readiness for the development of knowledge economy, innovativeness, and competitiveness of these two groups of countries. The research results confirm the significant lagging of CEFTA countries in relation to the selected EU countries, once CEFTA members.

Key words: competitive advantage, innovation, knowledge economy, CEFTA, selected EU countries.

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