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APEC Ministers Issue First Joint SME and Women Statement
Source: apec.org
Source Date: Saturday, September 07, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Created: Sep 10, 2013

The APEC Joint Ministerial Meeting on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Women concluded their first joint meeting today and issued a statement to synergize concrete efforts across APEC for empowering women SMEs in ways that provide direct and practical benefits.


Ministers gathered in Bali for the first time to coordinate initiatives between the APEC SME Working Group and the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy.


“It is important to note that women entrepreneurs have made remarkable economic steps in generating employment, driving production and innovation, and contributing to local development. However, to foster women entrepreneurs, it is necessary to formulate proper intiatives,” said Dr Sjarifuddin Hasan, Indonesian Minister for Cooperatives and SMEs, in his opening remarks.


“Therefore, it is important to bring together the expertise of both the APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Working Group (SMEWG) and the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) to provide a coordinated approach to address common challenges faced by women in SMEs,” added Minister Hasan.


In Indonesia alone, around 60 percent of women own and play significant roles in micro and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Most SMEs provide significant contributions to economic development. SMEs make up to 90% of all business establishments and absorb 60% of the total workforce in the Asia-Pacific region.


“Women’s participation in the economy can bring about a dramatic impact on the competitiveness and growth of our economies,” said Ms Linda Gumelar, Indonesian Minister for Women Empowerment and Children Protection, in her opening remarks.

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