UNIDO co-organized Regional SMEs Workshop in Bogota

UNIDO co-organized Regional SMEs Workshop in Bogota

In the last years the Andean countries have signed a number of free trade agreements with other countries and regions all over the world aiming at establishing access to new markets and fostering economic growth. On the other hand, the role played by Small and Medium Enterprises in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development is increasingly being acknowledged by the authorities of the region.

Within this context, UNIDO has recently carried out a number of cooperation programmes in the Andean region at sub-regional and national level aiming at strengthening the capacity of the local SMEs in order to reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth, and in accordance with the recommendations of the GRULAC countries expressed during the 12th UNIDO General Conference, in December 2007.

Among the objectives of this regional workshop on “Current productivity and competitiveness challenges for Andean Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” was the promotion of information exchange on opportunities and challenges for the SMEs against the free trade agreements endorsed and the subsequent standards and measures to be adopted by the SMEs of the Andean countries, as well as the new context of economic changes in those countries with the largest import markets.

One of the activities of the workshop was the evaluation of the current national policies for SMEs, focusing on the main factors and demands in the new economic environment – adoption of new international regulations and technical standards. Recommendations and conclusions were also found.

Ministers and Vice-Ministers of Industry, as well as private and public sector representatives, representatives of SMEs associations in the Andean Region and Latin American experts in SMEs development participated in this event, which was jointly organized by UNIDO and the Colombian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, in cooperation with the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Colombian Association of Small and Medium Industries (ACOPI), as well as the Trade Chamber of Bogotá (CCB).

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Aizar Assefh
UNIDO Representative and Head of the UNIDO Regional Office in Colombia