Panel discussion on digitalisation of MSMEs at Industrial Transformation Mexico (ITM)


The Secretariat for the Mexican-German Digital Dialogue and the Green Recovery project of GIZ Mexico co-organised a panel discussion at this year’s Industrial Transformation Mexico (ITM) in León, Guanajuato. The panel on 6 October addressed the digitalisation of micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The panel addressed digitalisation as a means for more sustainability and competitiveness. © Digital Dialogues-GIZ

The ITM is a leading fair on industrial digital transformation in Latin America. The Secretariat for the Mexican-German Digital Dialogue used this platform to bring together key stakeholders in the panel discussion "Integration of digital tools for strengthening the competitiveness of MSMEs". To focused on how MSMEs can use digital tools to strengthen their competitiveness and sustainability.

Digitalisation can help create sustainable business models

Andreas Jahn from the German Association of Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW) and Raúl Isaac Hernández Peña from The Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (CONCANACO SERVYTUR) in Mexico, took part as panellists. They shared best practices for adopting digital tools in MSMEs and highlighted the importance of digitalisation for sustainability.

The panellists agreed that a sustainable business model is essential for the competitiveness of companies, and that digitalisation can play a central role here. However, according to Jahn and Hernández Peña, there is still uncertainty in MSMEs on how to start this process.

Important areas for the digital transformation of MSMEs

In the discussion, the panellists highlighted that both internal and external aspects need to be considered in the digital transformation of MSMEs. Internal aspects include, for example, negotiations with suppliers and the level of productivity, while external aspects are e.g. customer satisfaction and external visibility. In this context, the participants emphasised how important social media has become to expand business visibility and reach a broader audience.

Hernández Peña and Jahn also stressed that it is crucial for companies of any size to be aware of their shortcomings, in comparison to their competitors, and to further develop their risk management for more competitiveness and resilience. Digital technologies can be used to advantage here.

Digital tools enhance competitiveness and sustainability

All in all, the panellists agreed that digital tools play a critical role for enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of MSMEs in both Mexico and Germany, and also digital transformation can drive growth and resilience.

The Mexican-German Digital Dialogue will continue to provide a platform for the bilateral exchange of common challenges and opportunities of the digital transformation.

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