|Issue:||Latin America III 2000|
|Topic:||The Importance of the Internet for SMEs in Latin America|
|Author:||Carlos Alfredo Magariños|
|Organisation:||United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)|
The different ways that the Internet will impact the growth and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are presented. The importance of enabling business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce to flourish, thus leading to the possibility of building an integrated value chain, is demonstrated. It is also shown how the Internet can be used to network all the sources of specialised information and expertise as well as business support services needed in order to enable SMEs to prosper and grow.
Introduction Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are key for economic growth. They play a vital role in virtually all countries, at whatever stage of economic development, in driving economic growth, generating employment and helping to achieve long-term sustainable poverty reduction. In order for them to prosper and grow, SMEs need to increase sales, decrease costs and have easy unbureaucratic access to low-cost support services as well as information on skills, available financing, technology, markets, raw material supplies etc.