Forum Will Link Gov't and Business

The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Business (SME) Forum & Exhibition 2001 to be held in August in Shanghai will promote dialogue between private businesses and governments from members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

More than 1,000 industrial ministers, entrepreneurs and scholars from 21 member economies will attend the event, making it the biggest SME business forum held so far, according to the secretariat of the forum.

"To meet calls for greater interaction between private business sectors and governments, the joint session between the delegates from the forum and ministers in charge of SMEs will last a half-day, compared with less than one hour last year in Brunei,'' said Yan Xiaofeng, secretary-general of the secretariat.

SMEs are a driving force behind the economic growth in Asia, accounting for more than 95 percent of all enterprises and employing 80 percent of the workforce. They contribute as much as 60 percent of the gross domestic product and account for 35 percent of exports in the region.

The forum will focus on advancing innovation, facilitating financing and establishing service agencies.

"Through the forum, the governments will better understand and address the need of SMEs, which will further promote the healthy development of SMEs in the region,'' Yan Xiaofeng said.

The event will provide a platform for SMEs. An exhibition to be held during the forum will display the major achievements of SMEs in the region.

(China Daily 05/17/2001)

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