This thesis addresses the conditions of SMEs and working conditions in the Chilean agrofood sector. Especially in an economy with a high degree of trade openness as Chilean economy. The current state of debate is that is more controversial the apparent success of Chilean agrofood sector due to the existence of these fault lines. The upgrading theories are mainly narrow minded and do not consider the weakest part of the production chains. It is required accordingly, a broader look to these problems such that embodies these problems. It is a research based mainly in an approach of political economy.
Within this context, this thesis explores the role of SMEs within the Chilean economy and, in particular, their participation within the Chilean economy's insertion into global agrofood production networks, with the aim of giving new insights into the debates over the role of industrial policy in developing countries (an economy based on natural resources). This research will contribute to developing recommendations for the use of public policy tools (rejuvenated industrial policy) in an effective way in relation to the development of SMEs in the agrofood sector. Also there is an urgent need for industrial policy to consider working conditions, training and the acquisition of skills in a much more explicit way, particularly in an economy that is heavily based on the exploitation of natural resources as in the Chilean case.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.