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APEC ministers stress SMEs as engine of growth, draw long-term direction through 2020

10-03-2010 14:50 BJT Special Report:APEC Summit in Yokohama |

GIFU, Japan, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Ministers and senior officials in charge of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Pacific Rim economies on Sunday stressed that SMEs are a significant growth engine within the region while drawing long- term development direction through 2020.

In a joint ministerial statement adopted Sunday after a two-day meeting in the central Japanese city of Gifu, the ministers and officials recognized that SMEs are a significant source of prosperity and employment, and a major contributor to innovation.

The statement also noted that the Asia-Pacific region as a whole remained resilient during the global recession, and is expected to experience major growth going forward.

"We strongly believe that SMEs' continued growth and development is a key to realizing the APEC Growth Strategy," the participants of the meeting said in the statement.

In the meeting, 20 of the 21-member APEC forum were divided into three groups, based on their GDP growth around the time of the recession, to discuss the impact of the financial crisis on SMEs.

China, as a representative of the economies less affected by the crisis, shared the experience on how government supports the SMEs through various ways such as creating various financing channels and providing information on market, employment etc.

Zhu Hongren, chief engineer of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said SMEs in many countries and regions, including China, experience similar challenges, so joint effort and a shared goal is needed for all the economies.

"China, with 150 million people living under the poverty line drawn by the United Nations, is dedicated to work with other APEC economies to achieve growth with the help of the development of SMEs," Zhu said.

The members also discussed on the direction through 2020 to generate the long-term growth strategy for APEC's SMEs, vowing to boost these companies' participation in high-growth sectors and their access to global markets.

To encourage a wider range of SME participation in high-growth sectors, APEC ministers said they will strengthen assistance for human resources development, innovation, business change, productivity improvement and entrepreneurship.

They are also determined to improve the business environment for SMEs, in particular, access to finance, capability building and the legal system.

To strengthen SMEs' access to global markets, the members will take initiatives assisting smaller firms with selling local products overseas, facilitating their participation in international industrial exhibitions and promoting exchange between smaller firms' managers within the region.

The meeting is part of a series of ministerial meetings ahead of the November APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan.

 

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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