Deputy Minister V.A. Simonenko to Take Part in APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting
The 19th Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting was held in Saint-Petersburg on August 3, 2012 as part of Russia’s tenure as APEC Chair in “Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation” (APEC) Forum.
The Russian delegation to the meeting was headed by the Deputy Minister V.A. Simonenko.
The main topic of the 19th APEC Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Ministerial Meeting was support for SME in order to promote innovative development in the APEC region.
Among other things, the following topics have been discussed at the meeting:
- internationalization and support for export-oriented small and medium enterprises;
- promotion of innovative SMEs;
- support for start-ups of small business and young entrepreneurs’ business development.
Fundamental points of the discussion are included into the Joint Ministerial Statement, which is to be presented to APEC leaders.
The participants of the meeting noted the growing interest in the topic of start-ups and youth entrepreneurship. A number of events related to the issues in focus were held in 2012: Summit of Young Entrepreneurs in Beijing, APEC Conference on Start-Ups in Seoul and Round Table of Young Entrepreneurs, organized at the initiative of Russia in Saint-Petersburg as part of APEC SME Working Group.
The following issues were discussed at the Round Table of Young Entrepreneurs:
• An extended access to knowledge and technologies for young entrepreneurs;
• Establishment of an open platform for sharing experience and interaction between young entrepreneurs and the officials of governmental authorities of APEC economies;
• Creation of a favourable environment for continuous growth and development of youth business.
In addition to youth business, other Russian initiatives, related to SME’s intellectual property protection and setup of the database with regard to global supply chains for SMEs, were supported and generally approved by the Ministers.
In the tenure of its chairmanship at APEC Forum, the Russian Federation announced the main topic: “Integration for Growth, Innovations for Wellbeing”, supporting joint efforts of APEC member economies aimed at increasing the economic growth rate and economic resilience.
To achieve these goals, the four top-priority fields of work have been identified for 2012:
1. Liberalization of trade and investments, regional economic integration.
2. Strengthening of food supply security.
3. Development of reliable transportation and supply chains.
4. Intense interaction to provide innovation-driven growth.
Small and medium enterprises (SME) play a crucial role, as they represent a driving force in economic growth of Asia-Pacific Region. SMEs account for 90% of all enterprises and employ from 32% to 84% of the workforce in each APEC economy.