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Sustainable Economic Growth
Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

Date:  5/7/2014 
Initiative: Strengthening MSME support institutions, programs and policies

The OAS supports efforts by member states aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as cooperatives and other production units, so as to contribute to economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation in the countries of the Hemisphere by: (i) strengthening the MSME support institutional framework; (ii) promoting the association and participation of MSMEs, as well as cooperatives and other production units, in supply chains by improving their quality management and marketing through activities such as the use of internet resources and information and communication technologies (ICTs); and, (iii) transferring lessons learned and sharing best practices.

Activities: 1. 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.
2. Strengthening of the institutional capacity of national entities that assist MSMEs through online and on-site train-the-trainers programs such as: "New Market Opportunities for MSMEs Using the Internet and Social Networks," "The use of ICTs by Women Entrepreneurs," and “Assessment of MSMEs' ICT capabilities.”
3. Horizontal cooperation initiatives such as the US Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model currently being adapted in five countries in the Caribbean - Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica and Saint Lucia, following similar processes in Central America and Mexico.
4. A result of the Inter-American Dialogue of High-Level MSME Authorities, InnovaNet supports a community of practice on transfer of technology and incubation for institutions and stakeholders supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Beneficiaries: All OAS member states

Partnerships: Other international and regional organizations, MSME support institutions, universities.
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  5/6/2014 
Initiative: Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) and Annual RIAC Meeting

The OAS is the Technical Secretariat of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC), a high level mechanism for regional dialogue that convenes Ministers, High-Level Authorities, Competitiveness Councils, multilateral organizations, leaders of private sector, academia and NGOS with programs on competitiveness. The RIAC fosters the exchange of experiences and the development of joint initiatives in all areas related to competitiveness, including capacity building activities, experts meetings and policy-related events.

The OAS also supports the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF), the preeminent hemispheric policy space for government and business leaders to discuss economic competitiveness and promote innovation in the Americas.

Activities: 1. RIAC Meeting of the Expert Working Group on Subnational Competitiveness (GTECS), Lima, Peru, Catholic University, co-sponsored and hosted meeting of GTECS, August 2013

2. Honduras 2030 Forum, Presentation of Presidential Candidates on the National Competitiveness Agenda. CABEI, COHEP and UNITEC, as local hosts and co-organizers of the event..

3. Innovanet, Regional Event, Costa Rica, in collaboration with Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), April 2013.

4. Innovanet, Honduras, in collaboration with UNITEC and COHEP, workshop on technology transfer and incubation.

5. Innovanet, Guatemala, in collaboration with SENACYT, workshop in technology transfer and incubation.

6. 2013 U.C. Davis Licensing Academy in Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialization, June 2013, together with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

7. 2013 Technology Transfer Academy of the Americas, La Paz, Baja California Sur, November, 2013, in Mexico, program from 15 technology transfer leaders from Central America (7 countries) and 15 from certified technology Transfer Officers from Mexico.

8. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshop in Guyana, organized by the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF).

OAS-ARTCA Project, with University of Illinois Funding, sponsored with the National Science Foundation of the United States, and high-level expertise to organize Radical Innovation Summit in Washington DC, June 2013, and the Pan American Summer Institute PASI,on Methods of Computation-Based Discovery (CBD), in Guatemala, in July, 2013.

Beneficiaries: All the countries of the Region

Partnerships: Other international organizations, universities, the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, local organizations, regional foundations, research institutions

Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  5/2/2014 
Department of Economic and Social Development (DESD) - Cultural section Initiatives

Cultural technical cooperation missions:
The implementation of five in site cooperation among member states in the topic “To strengthen and train OAS member states on the implementation of culture satellite accounts” (recommended during the V Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Culture (CIC), held in Washington, DC on March 21 and 22, 2013).
Activities: Five technical cooperation missions were requested and undertaken in Peru, Costa Rica, St. Lucia, Barbados and Bolivia. The technical assistance provider countries were Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and the UNESCO Statistics Institute. The five missions were co-financed by local institutions. All were successfully executed and the reports highlighted the importance of the implementation of these cooperation missions and the need for follow up action with special emphasis on the measurement of culture and its impact in the economy.

Economic Impact of the creative industries in the Americas:
Development of a diagnostic study that demonstrates the economic contribution and potential of the creative and cultural industries in the countries of the Americas, presents an overview of the availability of data, and offers recommendations for improving and harmonizing this measurement.
Activities: Completion of a report that compiled and analyzed data from OAS member states and 10 benchmark countries; 7 country summary dashboards were created that showcase the available data to demonstrate the economic impact of the sector.

Expanding socio-economic potential of cultural heritage:
In the framework of a project executed from October 2012 to February 2014 a network of heritage professionals and institutions was established in the Caribbean region, and the scope of works for model projects to advance regional cooperation on sustainable tourism, heritage legislation and policy and heritage education and management among other aspects of cultural heritage was developed.
Activities: A survey targeted at actors working in areas related to cultural heritage, tourism, planning and the environment to identify the regional needs, priorities and opportunities of cultural heritage in the Caribbean region; a regional meeting in Barbados (May 7-9, 2013) of experts and government officers in the areas of culture, tourism, planning and community development to verify and expand survey results; a list of national and external expert advisors for the design and implementation of the Model Projects; a list of recommended host institutions for each of the 4 model projects and lasting legacy project; and the scope of work for the implementation of 5 regionally replicable Model Projects in the areas of heritage network, heritage legislation, national heritage registers, sustainable heritage tourism and heritage education.

Culture, common denominator for development:
A compilation of successful practices in the OAS member states with examples from different contexts that show the potential that culture offers for development was disseminated.
Activities: Creation of a portfolio Culture, common denominator for development includes 26 practices from 18 OAS member states: Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Uruguay.

Beneficiaries: Ministries of Culture and other governmental and non-governmental institutions of the OAS member states

Partnerships: Ministries of Culture of the member states; Inter-American Development Bank; British Council
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  5/30/2013 
The OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral Development has assisted member states in their efforts “[to] promote economic growth with equity and social inclusion by strengthening cooperatives, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, including cultural industries, in addition to grassroots economic initiatives and other production units, innovation, and competitiveness in the countries of the Americas,”

The focus of the work has been on the strengthening of the institutional capacity of member states for the design and implementation of public policies and programs in the areas of trade and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by supporting policy dialogues, horizontal cooperation and capacity building programs.

The II Annual Inter-American Dialogue of High-Level MSME Authorities (New Orleans, September 10-11, 2012) provided a forum for the exchange of experiences and identification of cooperation initiatives for enhancing the competitiveness, innovation and internationalization of MSMEs The institutional capacity of national entities that assist MSMEs was strengthened through: (i) online and on-site train-the-trainers programs on the use of ICTs and social media by MSMEs, with special attention to women entrepreneurs; and, (ii) cooperation initiatives among member states to share successful programs, such as the United States Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model that continues to be adapted in five Caribbean countries.
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  5/30/2013 

Projects and Activities in Tourism
Small Tourism Enterprises Network (STEN): In 2010, the Small Tourism Enterprises Network (STEN) project was established as a unified network that integrates public, private and community sector strategies to provide strategic support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism industry in the Caribbean. STEN seeks to contribute to enhanced marketability and viability of small tourism enterprises in the Caribbean through delivery of a self-sustaining mechanism that addresses the need for increased market access, more effective promotion/communication between the tourism MSMEs and the target market, and facilitates the packaging of ‘tourism experiences.

As part of this project eight national, regional and sub-regional capacity building and training workshops have been held with over 250 small tourism enterprises benefitting directly. In April 2013, at the First Latin American and Caribbean Encounter of Owners and Operators of Small Hotels, in San Jose, Costa Rica, the participating organizations established the Latin American and Caribbean network of owners and operators of small hotels, as a mechanism to promote; collaboration, sharing of experiences, innovative solutions and exemplary practices among small and medium-sized lodging from the Caribbean and Latin America.
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  5/30/2013 

The purpose of the OAS Competitiveness Program is to promote productivity and innovation in the member states through dialogue, cooperation, exchange of best practices, and adoption of initiatives whose purpose is to improve public policy and human and institutional capacity building. The multilateral public-private policy dialogue on competitiveness has continued its process of consolidation through the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC). The network brings together high-level competitiveness authorities and public/private councils of competitiveness and innovation of the Americas.

The 2012 Annual RIAC meeting brought together the competitiveness authorities and councils of 31 countries on the occasion of the VI Americas Competitiveness Forum (Cali, Colombia, October 22-24, 2012). The ACF featured plenary sessions on innovative cities, culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, international trade, enabling business environment and infrastructure. There were also special workshops for Caribbean Member States, on sub-national competitiveness and one for the medical device industry.

The RIAC presented the “Signs of Competitiveness Report”, a summary of profiles of best practices shared by member countries which included specific offers of supply and demand of cooperation. The Report was prepared by the Chair Pro Tempore, Colombia, with the support of the Technical Secretariat (OAS). It includes 53 successful experiences from 16 countries and two institutions (Compete Caribbean and CAF-Development Bank of Latin America) on the 10 competitiveness principles approved by RIAC members in the Consensus of Santo Domingo in 2011. It also features a section on the innovation regional landscape with contributions from RIAC support institutions (IDB, ECLAC, CABEI) and experts (key note speakers, Oxford Economics, GFCC, IIPI). These profiles have allowed cooperation initiatives and technical exchanges among member states.

RIAC members also agreed to create a working group of experts on sub-national competitiveness. This initiative on regional competitiveness is working to identify the elements of regional competitiveness that will be useful as a point of reference when putting together and implementing agendas of specific public policies (at the state, provincial or municipal level) that nurture relative competitiveness and that can be replicated in the countries of the Americas that are interested in this issue.
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  5/30/2013 

In the Declaration of Port of Spain (2009), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is linked to reducing poverty, inequality and inequity “To reduce poverty and hunger, eradicate extreme poverty, create dignified and decent work, and raise the standard of living of all our people, we must achieve higher levels of business development and sustainable economic growth with equity. Subject to the domestic laws of each country, we will continue to promote diversified economic activity in the energy, transport, tourism, communications, services, financial services and agricultural sectors. We are committed to facilitating investment and public-private partnerships in infrastructure and other relevant sectors in order to promote business development, economic growth and social development with equity. We will continue to promote increased corporate social responsibility and improved competitiveness, to which the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Chile in 2009 will contribute.

CSR Projects and Activities

The OAS CSR Program focuses on three principal work areas:

1. Integrating CSR into the business practices of SMEs in the Americas. SMEs are a key component of economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean and the OAS CSR workshops for SMEs offer theory, practical knowledge and tools for businesses to develop innovative CSR solutions and strategies;
2. Raising awareness about CSR among parliamentarians in the region to support a policy framework that is conducive to implementing responsible business practices. This component focuses heavily on promoting public-private partnerships; and
3. Creating a CSR community of practice, which is a platform designed to facilitate knowledge exchange, share CSR solutions, provide tools, and promote partnerships between the private and public sectors, academia and other key actors.

The OAS CSR Program assists the region in incorporating CSR principles and guidelines into the business strategies of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and ensuring it is included in government agendas. Since 2003, the Program has trained approximately 800 SMEs in LAC on the importance of CSR as a strategic tool to enhance their productivity and competitiveness. Furthermore, and has trained policymakers in the region about the advantages of CSR.

In 2013, the OAS CSR Program has developed and launched a new methodology for SMEs, which aims to provide SMEs with tools to implement responsible practices into their business strategies. The new methodology moves beyond CSR awareness and into CSR implementation. The first pilot workshop that utilized the new methodology was held in Quito, Ecuador in March 2013 and the Ecuadorian SMEs indicated that they were extremely pleased with the workshop methodology, content, and format and they appreciated the concrete ideas, solutions, and tools that were presented throughout. The OAS CSR Program will be holding similar workshops in Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama in 2013.
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  5/30/2013 
Office of Education and Culture
The OAS is implementing the Project: “Expanding the socio-economic potential of cultural heritage in the Caribbean. Phase I: needs assessment and project selection”.
The project coordinated a regional workshop in Barbados in May 2013 to present initial results of the survey, conducted focused discussion sessions and verified conclusions. During the regional workshop the stakeholders discussed the needs and priorities in the region regarding the protection, use, and enhancement of cultural heritage.
The Project plans to have a second phase: “Implementation of model projects, dissemination of results, monitoring, and impact assessment”. This phase II still needs to be financed.

The Office of Education and Culture is also implementing the Project: “Expanding the socio-economic potential of cultural heritage in the Caribbean. Phase I: needs assessment and project selection”.
The project coordinated a regional workshop in Barbados in May 2013 to present initial results of the survey, conducted focused discussion sessions and verified conclusions. During the regional workshop the stakeholders discussed the needs and priorities in the region regarding the protection, use, and enhancement of cultural heritage.
The Project plans to have a second phase: “Implementation of model projects, dissemination of results, monitoring, and impact assessment”. This phase II still needs to be financed.

The Office also currently implement the project “Culture and Development: Promoting horizontal cooperation and knowledge sharing among member states. Phase II”. The Office commissioned a diagnosis study on the capacity to measure the contribution of creative industries to the economies of member states. This study was commissioned in alliance with the IDB and the British Council, to Oxford Economics.
The study will be ready for dissemination among all member states by June 2013.

The Office of Education and Culture serves as the Technical Secretariat of the Inter American Committee on Culture CIC (each OAS member state has a representative to the CIC). During the last CIC meeting held in march 2013 in Washington, DC the CIC representatives discussed on the importance of the implementation of Cultural Satellite Accounts in all OAS member countries in order to properly measure the impact of creative industries in their economies.
Current implementation of the project “Culture and Development: Promoting horizontal cooperation and knowledge sharing among member states. Phase II”. As part of the project, the Office of Education and Culture will implement technical cooperation missions among OAS member states, and one of the main topics will be the implementation of cultural satellite accounts (as per CIC representatives recommended during the march 2013 meeting). The project will also publish a new virtual Portfolio of successful practices on culture and development. Cultural Satellite Account experiences and creative industries among OAS member states may be included in the virtual publication.
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/23/2011 
the OAS has continued to support the efforts of member states to strengthen their institutional and human capacity in the area of trade policy - including in relation to the negotiation, implementation and administration of agreements- in recognition of the contribution of trade to growth, employment and development. Given the statement commitment of countries to an open, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system, it is especially important to highlight the strengthening of the capacity of member states to participate actively within this normative framework. The training activities organized by the OAS, in coordination with other international organizations such as WTO, UNCTAD, WIPO, IDB and ECLAC, which cover the main issues of the multilateral and regional trade agenda, has contributed positively in this regard. CARICOM countries have increased their negotiating capacity through the assistance provided in relation to their negotiations with Canada, at the same time as they prepared to implement the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Community.

Following its successful execution in the Caribbean region, the OAS Small Tourism Enterprise Program (STEP) is being replicated in Andean and Central American member states. With a network of over 1200 hotels, this program continues to deliver training and technical assistance, including on using information and communication technologies (ICTs), to small hotels and other small tourism enterprises. The OAS Supporting our Caribbean Enterprises (SOURCE) project has provided Caribbean artisans with better access to tourism markets by strengthening their business capabilities, improving the marketability of their products, and streamlining distribution.
Paragraphs: 12 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/23/2011 
The OAS has continued to contribute to information exchange and capacity-building on corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles and guidelines to enable member states to promote CSR initiatives among their own private sector communities. Since June 2010, the OAS CSR program has: i) promoted the incorporation of CSR in the business strategy of more than 100 SMEs from 20 member states, as a tool to increase their competitiveness; (ii) developed management tools and indicators, in partnership with ECLAC, to measure the environmental and social performance of SMEs; (iii) researched about the potential participation of MSMEs in economic opportunities through inclusive business in Latin America; (iv) promoted CSR awareness among Latin American parliamentarians through pilot training projects in Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay; (v) strengthened the regional network of organizations promoting CSR through roundtable dialogues held in Mexico, Peru and Chile and (vi) organized in partnership with ECLAC and the Technological Institute of Monterrey the Green Business Forum in México, which gathered together international experts to debate CSR issues and recommended ways to move towards a more sustainable economy.

The OAS has also facilitated the exchange of experiences and best practices among member states on the use of intellectual property as a tool to promote innovation and competitiveness in Latin America and the Caribbean. Regional dialogues and capacity building activities served as a means to promote new forms of public-private collaboration, to create awareness about the importance of protecting and leveraging the intangible value to diversify products and services, to generate new strategies to facilitate technology transfer, and build capacity to manage intellectual assets in Universities, research and development centers, producer associations, and SME - support institutions. To implement these tasks, the OAS signed a cooperation agreement with the Mexican Industrial Property Institute (IMPI) and developed several programs and projects in collaboration with other multilateral and national institutions.

Representatives from 27 OAS member states gathered on the occasion of the IV Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) to analyze the current state of competitiveness in the Hemisphere, exchange experiences and discuss reforms, identifying elements for a 2020 Competitiveness and Productivity Agenda for the Americas. The OAS co-organized with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) “Compete Caribbean” program, a workshop to strengthen institutions promoting competitiveness and productivity in the Caribbean member states. The Observatory of Competitiveness was launched on the Internet The Dominican Republic in 2011 and Colombia in 2012 were confirmed as hosts of the next Meetings of Competitiveness Authorities and Councils and the ACF. Panama formally offered to host these events in 2013.
Paragraphs: 13 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Related Resources
OAS Website