MSME: Trade and Economic Development

The Trade and Economic Development (TED) Section promotes economic development and sustainable economic growth in OAS Member States with a special focus on MSMEs.

At the Policy Level
1 - Policy Design

The TED Section supports the annual Inter-American Dialogue of High-Level MSME Authorities that provides a forum for the exchange of experiences and identification of cooperation initiatives for enhancing the competitiveness, innovation and internationalization of MSMEs and their participation in the benefits of trade, taking advantage of the OAS’ unique convening power as a hemispheric political forum. Read more…

At the Programmatic Level
    2 - Internationalization of MSMEs

It is a great challenge for MSMEs to enter international markets; however, several models have proven to help them reach new markets and compete at the international level. These models include: participation in value-chains, associations and cooperative; mentoring; IP value capture; and ICT and Internet use. Projects focus on strengthening the supply-side capabilities of MSMEs, with an emphasis on those owned by women and vulnerable groups, to help them benefit from the opportunities offered by expanded markets.

  • Value Chains/Associations and Cooperatives Model
    Strengthening MSME participation in value chains as well as in associations and cooperatives
    • Organic Quinoa and Mango Export Project (Puno and Piura regions of Peru)

This project helps improve the capacity of associations of small organic producers from poor regions in Peru to engage in international trade in a competitive and sustainable manner with an emphasis on taking advantage of the new opportunities brought by the recently signed Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement in the Canadian market.  Working in coordination with the Ministry of Trade and Tourism of Peru (MINCETUR), assistance is being provided to the association of small organic quinoa producers of the Puno region (Asociación Central de Productores Multisectoriales de Cabana ASCENPROMUL) and to the association of small organic mango producers of the Piura region (AGROTAM) to improve their capacity to access external market.

  • The sharing of successful experiences in the framework of horizontal cooperation initiatives

    - Mentoring to transfer knowledge from successful entrepreneurs to MSMEs.

    - The US Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model that is currently being adapted in five countries in the Caribbean - Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica and Saint Lucia, following similar processes in Central America and Mexico.
    • Central American Women Business Network Project

The TED Section has collaborated with the NGO Vital Voices and Central American Ministries responsible for SME development and trade  to undertake the

- Mapping of women-led SMEs with potential to be value chain suppliers.

- Mapping of successful women-led firms including those that are already exporting successfully, that have the potential to integrate some of the SMEs identified in the mapping exercise into their value chains.

-Mentoring and technical assistance:  Mentoring by successful women entrepreneurs and targeted technical assistance, as needed, will help prepare the selected SMEs to integrate competitively into value chains.  

  • IP Value Capture Model
    Intellectual property export strategies to help capture the intangible value products and services
    • Export of Intangible Value Products Project in the Caribbean

The OAS Office of Trade together with the NGO Light Years IP, Caribbean Export and the Caribbean Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CAIC) is undertaking a program to promote the export of intellectual property of Caribbean products with high intangible value (with the financial support of CIDA/Canada). See the publication IP Value Capture: Caribbean Opportunities for Higher Income

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Model
Promoting the use of ICT and Internet resources

    • Online course on "New Market Opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Using the Internet and Social Networks"  

The TED Section offers with the Portal of the Americas an online course in Spanish and English (with the cooperation of the University of the West Indies) to train public -private institutions that support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and/or participating MSME entrepreneurs on the use of information technologies (ICTs), mainly Internet and social media to enhance the business potential of these companies and improve their access to new markets.

3 - Institutional Strengthening

Institutional Strengthening projects seek to increase the effectiveness and reach of MSME support institutions. Based on the sharing of successful experiences, including institutional models using public-private-academia partnerships, a growing number of countries, assisted by the TED Section, have established or expanded innovative programs strengthening the capacity of their institutions to provide the services required to ensure the development of the vibrant and competitive MSME sector.

The TED Section in coordination with CENPROMYPE, the Central American regional entity responsible for the promotion of MSME development, assist with training modules to strengthen the capacity of advisors who provide specialized services through the MSME support centers, giving priority attention to women on:

  • The use of ICTs by Women Entrepreneurs
  • The use of ICTs by Women Entrepreneurs