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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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Access to market and internationalisation (Dimension 7)

The framework used to assess the level of development of policies to promote and foster SME internationalisation examines policies and programmes to support SMEs to internationalise their operations, both directly and indirectly; facilitate trade; engage in e-commerce; meet quality standards; and benefit from Latin American integration efforts. Overall, the LA7 countries are relatively well advanced in the areas covered by this dimension, demonstrating a solid level of policy implementation, though somewhat less so in terms of regional integration. However, they still tend to fall short when it comes to the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of these efforts, and should prioritise the creation of, or strengthening of existing, M&E systems in order to effectively measure these policies’ impact and ensure the effective use of public funds in supporting SMEs’ international market access.

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