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Economic boost from APEC SME meeting.



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Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

9 March 2007

ECONOMIC BOOST FROM APEC SME MEETING

APEC economies will soon see substantial benefits flowing from outcomes of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial Meeting in Hobart which ended today.

Key outcomes of the 14th SME Ministerial Meeting include:

z Pursuing SME innovation to promote more energy efficient industry solutions

z Working harder on making common practice best practice including improving knowledge

amongst SMEs of the business assistance programs available to them z Reducing transaction costs and red tape imposed by governments

z Encouraging the use of e-commerce and online transactions with government

"SMEs are a substantial source of wealth for the region and this meeting has examined a wide range of practical ideas and initiatives to help this sector grow and prosper. In helping it grow we are contributing to the wellbeing of our communities across the APEC region," Fran Bailey, Minister for Small Business and Tourism, said today.

"This meeting was especially significant as delegates were able to see first hand how innovation can drive productivity and protect the environment."

Fran Bailey thanked Hobart for hosting the APEC SME Ministerial Meeting.

"Tasmania was a wonderful host and I am thrilled that images of Tasmania have been beamed across 21 APEC economies. Having Tasmania seen by such a huge potential audience will deliver an enormous boost to the local tourism industry and the small businesses that are part of it."

Fran Bailey said the lessons learned from Hobart would be put into practice almost immediately and some of the initial results would be reported on at next year's APEC meeting in Peru.

For more information on the 14th APEC SME Ministerial Meeting, and APEC 2007, please visit www.industry.gov.au/apec2007 and www.apec2007.org.