Latin America and the Caribbean 2019

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

image of Latin America and the Caribbean 2019

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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Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a fundamental component of the social and economic fabric of Latin America and the Caribbean. They provide jobs, incomes, goods and services to millions of families. Indeed, small shops, restaurants and workshops dot the landscape across the region. As such, they have a key role to play as the region addresses its key challenge of increasing productivity. SMEs and entrepreneurs are also important contributors to innovation and dynamism. These firms will be essential for the region to achieve more competitive economies, more inclusive societies and to bridge the existing gap with other dynamic regions such as emerging Asia. SMEs will also be key for Latin American countries to escape the so called “middle income trap” and to achieve economies that are diversified, adding value and less dependent on primary goods.

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