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OAS Promotes Experience Sharing in Panama on Competitiveness and MSMEs Environmental Performance

  March 21, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS) held in Panama City on March 19 and 20, 2014, a cross-sectoral dialogue on competitiveness and the environmental performance of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which took place in the context of the 9th International Symposium on Cleaner Production (CP) in the capital of Panama.

The "cross-sectoral Dialogue on competitiveness and the environmental performance of MSMEs" was coordinated by the OAS Department of Sustainable Development as a mechanism for facilitating the "Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas." The event included the participation of representatives from civil society, academia and governments of the Hemisphere. During the meeting, Carlos Fernando Cadavid, Deputy Director of P+L of Colombia, stressed that "improving the competitiveness of MSMEs is achieved through investment practices and cleaner production technologies." The meeting offered a forum for dialogue and the exchange of ideas and experiences aimed at improving the environmental performance and competitiveness of MSMEs, in particular those in the production sector.

In order to stimulate economic growth in the region, the "Pathways to Prosperity" initiative’s activities seek to promote the access of MSMEs to markets, modernization, technological innovation, and to financial and credit mechanisms. Furthermore, the initiative aims to improve and expand cleaner production practices especially within MSMEs, even through the exchange of best practices to help farmers and other sectors to increase the access of their sustainably developed products to markets. In this regard, María Dueñas of the National Commission on Small and Medium Enterprises (CONAMYPE) of El Salvador said during her intervention that "the model of the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) can be adapted to include the realities of our countries."

The "Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas" initiative provides a forum at the political level for member states to learn from of each other’s experiences by sharing best practices and by cooperating to promote inclusive growth, prosperity and sustainable development. The Mechanism to Facilitate the Initiative, established in the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS General Secretariat, works in close coordination with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-101/14