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Third Inter-American Dialogue of High Authorities of MSMEs Organized by the OAS Concludes in Brasilia

  November 13, 2013

The Third Inter-American Dialogue of High Authorities of MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), coordinated by the Organization of American States (OAS), concluded Tuesday in Brasilia with a commitment of the participants to unite in their efforts to support the internationalization of micro, small and medium enterprises in the region.

The meeting, held on November 11 and 12, was organized by the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development of the OAS and the newly created Ministry of Micro and Small Enterprise of the Presidency of Brazil, with the support of the Government of Canada and the Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises (SEBRAE).

Upon opening the meeting, Minister Guilherme Afif Domingos of the Secretariat for Micro and Small Enterprises in Brazil, stressed the importance of public policies to create conditions for the internationalization of MSMEs. Minister Domingos also emphasized the importance of improving the fiscal, legal and administrative environment in which these companies operate. Minister Domingos called on member states to make concerted and determined efforts to advance the simplification of processes and regulations to facilitate the access of MSMEs to regional markets.

In his address, the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin, recognized the high level participation of 30 OAS member states as a sign of the growing consensus around the importance of a dynamic MSMEs sector as a central factor in an agenda of inclusive and sustainable development.

Ambassador Ramdin also highlighted the importance of dialogues such as the one in Brasilia for the exchange of experiences and identification of opportunities for horizontal cooperation among countries. "The challenges are complex and enormous. However, there is a very impressive wealth of experience in our region to be shared among everyone represented here," said Ramdin.

The document detailing the conclusions of the event prepared in the final meeting, moderated by Nestor Mendez, Permanent Representative of Belize to the OAS and Chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the Organization, states that "micro, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the economies of the Americas and are a vital link in creating jobs and in the process of economic and social integration of the countries of the region."

Conscious of the role of states in the definition and establishment of strategies for the internationalization of firms, participants identified a set of principles whose development compliance they pledged to ensure within the framework of their powers, and in accordance with the policies, development plans and strategies of their countries and with their respective fiscal, legal and administrative frameworks.

Furthermore, in the conclusions of the event, it was decided that "in order to continue the effort of supporting the development of MSMEs, the advances made by member countries will be documented, with the assistance of the OAS and other agencies working in the area, to be presented on the occasion of the Fourth Inter-American Dialogue of High Authorities of Micro, Small and Medium Businesses with emphasis on the following areas: Simplification of processes to facilitate access of MSMEs to regional and global markets; promoting the convergence of various virtual business platforms with the support of the network of institutions supporting MSMEs, such as the SBDC.Global Platform, the SEBRAE Opportunity Center, ConnectAmericas and other regional initiatives; strengthening the "SME Community" portal with updated information on statistics, indicators, legislative and regulatory frameworks to support public policies in member countries dealing with MSMEs; foster regional cooperation on best practices in institutional models and legal frameworks; and promote the development and dissemination of tools to support the internationalization that will allow MSMEs in the region to grow and participate in regional and global value networks, especially those run by women.

At the close of the meeting, the Director of SEBRAE, José Claudio dos Santos, on behalf of President Luiz Barretto, stressed his satisfaction with the active and committed participation of member countries and reiterated the readiness of his institution to continue to deepen cooperation with all the countries of the region.

For her part, the Director of the Department of Economic and Social Development of the OAS, Maryse Robert, highlighted the commitment of the Organization to deepen the support offered to the efforts of countries to achieve the development of the micro, small and medium enterprise sector. The Canadian Ambassador to Brazil, Jamal Khokhar, closed the meeting by reiterating his country's commitment to Inter-American cooperation on the issues most important to the development of the countries of the region.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-435/13