THE 21st Apec Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial Meeting (Apec SMEMM) was held recently in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, the People’s Republic of China.
Chaired by Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, the People’s Republic of China, the meeting was attended by ministers and representatives from 21 Apec member economies with the theme ‘Innovation and Sustainability’.
Brunei Darussalam was represented by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Brunei Darussalam to the People’s Republic of China, Datin Paduka Magdalene Teo Chee Siong, and senior officials from the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR).
The Apec SMEMM is held annually by the Apec host economy to advance the grouping’s support for micro, small and medium enterprises that comprise the majority of businesses in all 21 Apec member economies.
SMEs account for around 90 per cent of all businesses and employ as much as 60 per cent of the work force in the Apec region. However, they generate only around 30 per cent of global exports.
SMEMM and related meetings offer a unique opportunity for member nations to work with their Asia-Pacific partners and to encourage the rapid development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), particularly in innovation.
The Apec SME Ministerial Statement is in congruent with the three sub-themes of Increasing Innovation Capacities of SMEs, Improving the Policy Environment for SMEs’ Innovation and Promoting SMEs’ Growth Through Innovation.
The statement was endorsed during the meeting and will be presented to the Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2014 in Beijing.
Additionally, the Nanjing Declaration on Promoting SME Innovative Development was also adopted which aims to encourage the Apec member economies to take a range of measures to promote SME innovation on a voluntary basis.
The week-long meeting kicked off with other events, particularly the Apec Seminar of Financing Innovation of SMEs and the Apec SME Business Forum 2014, organised by the Chinese government.
A three-day series of Apec Code of Business Ethics for SMEs’ forums and workshops that focused on the Medical Device Sector and Bio-pharmaceutical Sector, organised by the United States, were also held concurrently.
The next APEC SME Ministerial and related meetings will be held in 2015 in the Philippines. – Courtesy of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR)