Background

In their Joint Statement at last November's meeting in Busan, Korea, APEC Ministers stressed "The need for additional APEC activities to promote international trade for SMEs and MEs that had high export potential but lacked a formal channel to export their products and services, and committed to continue working to reduce and remove existing impediments for SMEs and MEs to enter international markets."

Viet Nam, the chair of APEC 2006, emphasizes that to "Enhance Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises" and to "Connect APEC economies through Tourism and Cultural Exchange" are important, configured respectively as the second and sixth priority of "Priority of APEC 2006" which was adopted at the first Senior Officials' Meeting in Ha Noi.

To respond to the directions from Ministers swiftly, and to contribute to the success of APEC 2006 as well as the development of APEC region, we propose to organize a seminar for supporting the development of local and cottage industries through sharing experiences and know-how of capacity building activities particularly in ASEAN economies.

This seminar will be jointly organized with the workshop on "Developing Craft Village based Tourism" under the framework of AMEICC, which have implemented various cooperation projects for industrial and economic development of local industries in ASEAN.

Objectives

The seminar will aim to:

Build up the capacity of governments and private sectors which are involved in the development of local and cottage industries through sharing experiences and know-how of

  1. conducting successful projects such as "One village One Product",
  2. improving the potential of regional resources, and
  3. helping the export of products of sufficient quality to the world market.

Summary of the seminar outcomes

  • The seminar was a valuable opportunity to share experience among
    • APEC economies and ASEAN members
    • Academic, business and government sectors
  • OVOP is a useful gateway or framework to promote village handicraft development, but since the situation differs in each region
    • Each government should try firstly by themselves to develop a strategy, finding out the uniqueness among them
    • Combination of government, university and industry is important, but should be noted that the appropriate combination will differ in each country
  • Stronger cooperation between ASEAN and APEC is called for, but holding a seminar is just the first step. Continuation is the key.
*Abbreviation List
APECAsia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
ASMEDAgency for Small and MEdium Enterprise Development
AMEICCASEAN Economic Ministers and METI of Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee
ASEANAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations
MEsMicro-enterprises
SMEs Small and Medium Enterprises
VNATViet Nam National Administration of Tourism