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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Economic Context and the Role of SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean

During the last two decades, the Latin American and Caribbean region has registered relatively dynamic economic growth, above the OECD average, although less than that of other emerging countries such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This growth, which in many cases has been influenced by the levels of production and prices of basic products such as minerals, oil and food, has allowed the reduction of extreme poverty (from 29% to 16% between 2000 and 2014). ) and moderate poverty (from 17% to 14% for the same period)(OECD, 2016[1]).

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