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).

English Also available in: Spanish

Innovation and technology (Dimension 5)

Promoting innovative SMEs and entrepreneurship is a priority for all countries in the region and an important step to increase productivity and competitiveness. This chapter focuses on the existence of national policies, programmes and institutions to help SMEs and entrepreneurs to conceive and implement innovative business ideas. The analysis notes that the productive transformation and development agendas implemented in some countries include innovation as an important policy element among other areas (e.g. fostering investment, improving the business and regulatory environment, and strengthening institutions). It also notes that other countries are in the process of developing national innovation strategies (i.e. strategic plans whose focus is the promotion of innovation in a wider context, not only in the private sector). In terms of the implementation of innovation support programmes, the analysis points to a very extensive offer of services covering, with variations, all programmes assessed in this report (support for incubators, accelerators, technology transfer offices, access to finance for innovative ventures, R&D incentives, etc.). Yet, the availability and accessibility of information on these schemes is often very scattered and at times limited. Furthermore, in several cases it was not possible to verify unambiguously the levels of implementation of the actions put forward in the productive transformation and development agendas.

English Also available in: Spanish

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