Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for development of small and medium-sized exporters in Latin America: Peru
Carlos Daniel Durand Chahud
While there is little understanding of the current and future impact of ICTs on industrial and commercial activities in countries like Peru, there is even less understanding of exactly how such advanced technologies can address wider social and economic issues ?the priorities of poor and disadvantaged groups? such as those represented by small enterprises. It is therefore essential to keep government and society informed on the real issues arising from this new wave of technological development. Within the private sector, large enterprises play a crucial role in the long-term development expectations of Peru, and are likely to form the cornerstones of that development, focusing on the primary sectors of mining and fishing. Nonetheless, small enterprises are also important because they play a pivotal role in creating the jobs and incomes that large companies fail to produce in sufficient quantities. Over the long term, small firms are needed to create a more flexible and lower-cost foundation for development. Small enterprises, however, are subject to increased competition as well as greater demand for higher quality products and services. Surviving in this competitive environment will require raising the overall productivity of small enterprises, which in turn will need higher levels of management capacity. The ability to acquire, process, and effectively use ICT tools will be crucial in this setting. Accordingly, it is important to accept that ICTs have the potential to transform access to information, improve internal information systems, and enhance the methods and scope of information dissemination. The extent to which small enterprises can actually benefit from such potential is unclear, however, and the report will investigate this through a number of cases studies.