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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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SME development services and public procurement (Dimension 4)

This chapter focuses on some of the most important policy tools used by LA7 countries to provide direct support to SMEs and entrepreneurs through business development services (BDS). It also analyses the extent to which public procurement systems facilitate the participation of SMEs in this important market. The analysis notes that SMEs and entrepreneurs in LA7 countries generally have access to a rich market of BDS through government and private sector providers across national territories. It also notes that a few countries use BDS as important tools to achieve broader economic and social goals. However, the chapter highlights the need for some countries to provide more consolidated and structured sources of information (for example, through online tools) on the myriad of BDS schemes available for SMEs and entrepreneurs. The chapter also notes that LA7 countries have in place relatively advanced e-procurement systems as well as registries of suppliers, which facilitate the participation of SMEs in public procurement. However, not all of the e-procurement platforms handle the whole procurement process (publication of opportunities, bidding, information on contracts awarded, deserted offers, payments, etc.). Furthermore, only a few countries have in place direct support programmes to help SMEs in taking advantage of public procurement opportunities.

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