The Economic Empowerment and Trade Program promotes economic development and sustainable economic growth in OAS Member States with a special focus on MSMEs.
1 - Policy Design
The Office of Trade supports the Regional Dialogue of High-Level Authorities Responsible for Trade and MSMEs leading to the adoption of policies to promote the competitiveness 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…
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
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.
Mentoring to transfer knowledge from successful entrepreneurs to MSMEs
The Office of Trade 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
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
The Office of Trade offers with the Portal of the Americas an online course 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 Office of Trade, 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. Read more...