Chiefs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the Asia-Pacific region met in the Peruvian capital Lima on Monday, to discuss such issues as the expansion of telecommunications and business regulation reforms.
The summit is attended by over 500 business personnel from the 21 member economies of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The theme of this year's SMEs summit is "Business Solutions for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises."
Among other issues, the attendants are expected to talk about further expansion of telecommunication infrastructure, which is considered to play a key role in drawing SMSs into the global market.
In 1990, an average of only 0.08 percent of those living in APEC member economies used the Internet. By 2005, internet users in the region soared to over 44 percent.
Earlier this year, APEC telecommunication ministers pledged to achieve the region's universal access to broadband by 2015.
During Monday's meeting, the entrepreneurs would also discuss how to streamline business regulations as many believe globalisation benefits large businesses but remains elusive to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Other topics expected to be discussed include the protection of intellectual property and how to reduce the risk of abuse and theft inherent in market expansion.
The first summit of SMEs was held in August last year in Hangzhou, China, with the attendance of 10,000 entrepreneurs. The SMEs account for over 90 percent of all businesses and employ between 60 to 80 percent of the workforce in the region.
(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2008)