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Thursday, July 4, 2013

SELA to hold workshop on internationalization and promotion of SMEs consortiums in Dominican Republic

S The Permanent Secretariat of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) will hold the “Workshop on Internationalization and Promotion of Caribbean SMEs Consortiums” in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 8 and 9 July, in the context of the SELA-SMEs Programme.

This regional meeting is being organized by the Permanent Secretariat of SELA, along with the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), the Small Business Association of Barbados (SBA), the representation of the European Union, the Centre for Exports and Investments of Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) and the General Directorate for Multilateral Cooperation (DIGECOOM) of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development of Dominican Republic.

The general objectives of this activity include the promotion of strategies for productive development, the creation of export consortiums and the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for their foray into regional and international markets.

The meeting also aims to stimulate the exchange of goods and services among Latin American and Caribbean countries in order to strengthen the productive integration of the region and promote the participation of SMEs in trade fairs and business events.

Participants in the opening session of the event include Ignacio Méndez, Vice-Minister of SMEs of the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce; Irene Horejs, Head of the Delegation of the European Union; Antonio Vargas Hernández, National Authorizing Officer of the European Development Funds-DIGECOOM; Jean Alain Rodríguez, Executive Director of the CEI-RD; Alejandro Siles, Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Peru; and Antonio Leone Durante, Coordinator of the SELA-SMEs Programme.

In the two-day workshop, the floor will be taken by representatives of the Caribbean Association of SMEs (CASME), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX), the Secretariat of Economy of Mexico and the National Commission for Micro and Small Enterprises of El Salvador (CONAMYPE), among others. They will also participate in the various panels.

Participants also include representatives of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Barbados, Belize, Dominican Republic, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

The inclusion of SMEs in international markets requires the improvement of products and services on a permanent basis, for which the stimulus to innovation is crucial. The goal is to promote changes in products and processes that provide efficient and profitable responses to demands.

This implies the continuous research and development of experiences, skills, knowledge and talents that lead to increased efficiency and improved productivity, which are fundamental in the process of business management. Innovation is also a determining factor for competitiveness.

The Permanent Secretariat of SELA focuses its efforts on small and medium-sized enterprises in the region through the SELA-SMEs Programme, which aims to contribute to the development and strengthening of institutional capacities of government and business focal points of the Member States of SELA, as well as other bodies in charge of promoting and implementing programmes to support SMEs.