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FEALAC’S Trade Facilitation in the context of the Digital Economy

18 September 2019|Event

In the framework of the annual FEALAC Working Group Meeting on “Trade, Investment, Tourism and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina co-organized the seminar "FEALAC’s Trade Facilitation in the context of the Digital Economy". The seminar aimed to find ways to improve regional connectivity among FEALAC member states and to nurture business capabilities of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in a digital economy.

The meeting focused on the analysis of value chains and the participation of MSMEs in the context of the digital economy. Case studies of the use of digital media in finance (Mexico), the promotion of innovation (Chile), exports and digitalization of MSMEs (Argentina), and the promotion of digital technologies to boost microenterprises (Thailand) were presented.

ECLAC presented some results regarding links in value chains between Latin America and the Pacific, focusing on four questions: (1) Does Latin America participate in value chains? (2) Are there regional value chains in Latin America? (3) In which sectors and set of countries are Latin American value chains located? and (4) How are MSMEs linked in regional and bi-regional value chains? In addition, the input-output table for 18 Latin America and the Caribbean countries, the main technical instrument used in the analysis of value chains, was presented.

In addition, results were presented regarding the participation of exporting MSMEs in value chains in the mining and metals sectors. In particular, an example of the use of microdata for the analysis of the participation of economic agents in international trade by size was presented. Finally, the need to analyze bottlenecks faced by MSMEs to facilitate their integration into international trade was emphasized. In this respect, the challenges identified were access to credit, high transport costs, customs difficulties, logistical issues, and high insurance prices, among others.