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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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Operational environment/simplification of procedures (Dimension 2)

This chapter covers a number of areas related to the operational and regulatory environment faced by SMEs, such as regulatory reform and the application of regulatory impact analysis (RIA), company registration and tax-filing procedures and access to e-government services. While these issues may not all be under the direct remit of the line ministry in charge of SME policy, they are highly relevant for creating a conducive business environment.The LA7 assessment results for this policy dimension are relatively weak in comparison with those of other dimensions. Overall, this means that the targeted support provided to SMEs in other areas (such as innovation, associativity, and internationalisation) functions within a sub-optimal general business environment, with significant barriers to enterprise entry and competition. It is important that LA7 countries consider this overall picture and find the optimal policy mix between improving the general business environment and providing continuous, targeted support to enterprises with high growth potential.

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