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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Mexico has continuously worked to develop its SME policy since the establishment of initial institutions and support programmes in the early 2000s. Alongside that process, Mexico has undertaken two in-depth SME policy reviews (in 2007 and 2013, through the OECD Working Party on SME and Entrepreneurship) that have helped to identify important areas of reform. Those efforts have contributed to Mexico’s good performance in this first SME Policy Index assessment focusing on Latin America. Mexico is currently at a crucial point in defining its strategic orientations for both overall economic development and SME development, as the new administration is in the process of elaborating the new national plan of economic development and the new strategy for SMEs. Going forward, the country could consider a closer involvement of INADEM (the SME agency) and other public agencies in the implementation of SME support programmes, re-assessing the current call-for-proposal based programme delivery system and identifying opportunities to expand co-operation with the private sector. At the same time, efforts should be continued to develop partnerships with state and local administrations.

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