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APEC boost for small and medium enterprises.



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Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

7 March 2007

APEC BOOST FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

APEC small and medium enterprises will be the focus of an historic meeting beginning in Hobart today being hosted by Australia's Minister for Small Business and Tourism Fran Bailey.

The APEC SME Ministerial Meeting is bringing together representatives of APEC's 21 member economies to discuss the latest initiatives and practices to develop and grow around 49 million businesses in APEC economies.

Fran Bailey highlighted the benefits to Tasmania from hosting the SME Ministerial Meeting.

"The APEC SME conference will put the international spotlight on Hobart and showcase the delights of Tasmania," Fran Bailey said.

"This is a great opportunity to highlight Tasmania's world-renowned food and wine, pristine environment and beauty to a global audience. The tourism benefits from hosting this meeting will flow for many years to come."

The theme of the meeting is Driving SME Growth through Economic Reform.

"We are looking at ways that we can make it easier to start and grow a business, as well as best-practice initiatives we can introduce to cut costs and save time for SMEs," Fran Bailey said.

"High on our agenda will be the actions taken to support small business initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions by developing a more energy-efficient industry. The meetings will showcase examples of Australian ingenuity that are taking these steps."

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

Media contact: Kevin Lowe 02 6277 7450 0408 404 468