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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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Productive transformation (Dimension 6)

The framework used to assess the level of development of policies to harness SMEs as agents of productive transformation in the LA7 region covers the strategic level, examining policy frameworks to enhance productivity and whether these frameworks harness the role of SMEs, as well as the programmatic level, examining specific programmes that encourage SMEs to associate via productive agglomerations, such as clusters, and integrate into regional and global value chains. The LA7 countries as a whole are relatively well advanced in the areas covered by this dimension, with all obtaining results above a level 3. However, the pilot or relatively new nature of many of the current LA7 programmes in this area underscores the importance of M&E systems; while the results demonstrate a solid level of policy implementation, the actual impact of these programmatic efforts remains to be seen. In addition, establishing priority sectors for productive transformation at a strategic level along with corresponding action plans, even while maintaining flexibility for future adjustments, could help policymakers to more clearly separate between general SME development measures relevant for the entire SME population and more specific interventions in priority sectors related to the process of productive transformation.

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