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(AP) - THE REPORT: Small and medium-sized companies in Latin America could play a key role in strengthening and consolidating the region's economic growth, according to a report by The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

SLOWDOWN: Regional economic growth will slow down for the first time in nearly a decade this year.

THE NUMBERS: According to the report, small and medium enterprises, account for 99 percent of businesses in the region and employ 67 percent of workers, but their contributions to GDP and productivity remain low. Large firms' productivity is six times higher. That's a wider gap than in more developed countries.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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