Rising Concentration in Asia-Latin American Value Chains

Can Small Firms Turn the Tide?

image of Rising Concentration in Asia-Latin American Value Chains

Dynamic Asia has overtaken the European Union as Latin America and the Caribbean's second largest export market, after the United States. However, the region's exports to Asia remain concentrated in few commodities involved a small number of large firms. This book explores the present and future scope for the participation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in biregional trade and value chains and the measures that can be taken to make those chains more inclusive and sustainable. It encourages governments in Latin America to improve the business environment in order to encourage multinational firms to invest, upgrade and innovate in the region.




Despite the stagnation of total export growth in Latin America over the past few years, trade with Asia has continued to grow. From 2000 to 2013, the share of Asia in total Latin American exports increased from 6% to 20%, making Asia the region’s second largest trade partner. In contrast, the share of the United States fell from 59% to 41%, and sales to the European Union and to the region itself have actually fallen. However, Latin American exports to Asia are highly concentrated, consisting mainly of a limited number of commodities sold by a few, mostly large companies. The involvement of such a small number of actors in total Latin American exports may further increase the already high concentration of export revenues observed in the region. In this context, what options are there to counter this trend by encouraging higher direct or indirect participation by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in exports?


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error