Latin America and the Caribbean 2019

Policies for Competitive SMEs in the Pacific Alliance and Participating South American countries

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The SME Policy Index is a benchmarking tool that assists emerging economies in monitoring and evaluating progress in policies that support small and medium-sized enterprises. This first application of the Index methodology in the Latin American and Caribbean region covers the four Pacific Alliance member countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru) and three participating South American countries (Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay). Divided into seven policy dimensions, this report assesses the strengths and weaknesses that exist in different areas of SME policy design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation, and provides guidance to policy makers in identifying policy areas for future reform according to international good practices. This report is a joint effort between the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the OECD through its Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Programme (LACRP), in co-operation with the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) and the “Foundation for the Strategic Analysis and Development of the SME” (FAEDPYME).

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Over the past few years, Argentina has been in a process of major policy reforms aimed at stabilising the economy and laying the foundations for better living standards. Those efforts have included the upgrading of SME and entrepreneurship policy as an important mechanism for a sustainable and inclusive economy. This report notes that there is a rich offer of support schemes for SMEs and entrepreneurs. The analysis also points to the good performance in access to finance, especially in terms of the regulatory environment and the availability of alternative sources of funds. Argentina could build on those achievements and use SME policy as a strategic tool to achieve wider national goals such as creating employment, increasing productivity and enhancing living standards. The results of this report note that Argentina could benefit from further strengthening the framework for SME policymaking, improving the business environment and strengthening innovation in SMEs.

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