A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


Active ImageSascha Fuerst, VI member coordinator from EAFIT University (Colombia), is participating in a joint project on "Enhancing the Role of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Global Value Chains" between the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the University of Geneva and the University of Fribourg.

Professor Fuerst has undertaken a case study to assess the participation of domestic SMEs in the television international production chain in Colombia. The project is funded by the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN).


The overall study examines the effects that the globalisation of production has on firms of different size and technological capabilities. The reorganisation of production at the international level and the development of global value chains are having significant effects on SMEs, in particular
by expanding their business opportunities. This is important when considering that reaching international markets is a problematic step for SMEs. The fragmentation of production and the considerable spreading of subcontracting, together with the development of ICT-technologies, create new entrepreneurial and business possibilities for SMEs.

The Colombian film industry was selected to illustrate an emerging pattern in a creative industry where the value chain shows significant presence of independent or affiliate SMEs acting as subcontractors or suppliers.

The major findings of the study will be discussed at the OECD Global Conference on "Enhancing the Role of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Global Value Chains" (31 May - 1 June) in Tokyo this year.

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