Eighth APEC SME Ministerial Meeting Well Prepared

Preparations for the Eighth APEC Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Ministerial Meeting, scheduled for August 27-30 in Shanghai along with related activities, have been complete, an official of the organizing committee said Sunday.

About 200 participants from all the 21 APEC members, including ministers responsible for SMEs and officials from the APEC Secretariat, will attend the meeting, the official said, adding that more than 200 journalists including 66 from overseas media organizations will come to cover the event.

The SME Ministerial Meeting is one of the specialized ministerial meetings of the APEC, the most important economic organization in the Asia-Pacific region, and has been held seven times since it is first launched in 1994 in Osaka, Japan.

The theme of the current SME, one of the APEC ministerial meetings hosted by China this year, is "New Century, New Challenges: Innovation and Environment for SME Development."

The meeting will focus on the three topics of "advancing technological development, facilitating financing, and improving the environment for SME development."

The host city of Shanghai has been preparing for the meeting for the past six months. It has employed 90 liaison officers who speak fluent foreign languages and trained 150 volunteers for the meeting. Some 500-shuttle buses and a 2,000-square-meter press center have also been put into operation.

(Xinhua News Agency 08/26/2001)

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