Small-to-Medium Enterprise (SME) Symposium

Topics and agenda under development and subject to change

The 2011 APEC Business Advisory Council SME Symposium is a full-day seminar that will provide an opportunity to explore the opportunities that new technologies and new trade frameworks, in the form of free trade agreements, present to small and medium-sized enterprises looking to compete in global markets. The Symposium will also cover issues that SMEs need to take into consideration as they venture into foreign markets, including business ethics and protection of intellectual property rights. In addition to expert panel sessions, participants will also hear from leading government and business figures in a series of speeches and presentations focusing on the changing business environment for SMEs.

Invited speakers include:
  • Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Daniel Alegre, President Asia-Pacific and Japan Operations, Google
  • Michael Camuñez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Deb Henretta, Group President, Asia, Procter & Gamble and Chair, APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)
  • Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President, Export-Import Bank of the United States
Expert panel sessions will include:
New Roles for SMEs in Global Markets

Innovative technologies and services such as cloud-based technologies are redefining the role that SMEs can play in global markets. Panelists will discuss and share examples of how services and software delivered online are making it easier for small companies to get off the ground and reach customers.

Free Trade Agreements – Opening Doors for SMEs

Free trade agreements are paving the way to new markets for goods and services, but SMEs are not always able to reap the full potential of these agreements. This discussion will focus on strategies small businesses can employ to ensure they leverage the opportunities made available by FTAs.

Creating Transparent and Open Business Environments for SMEs

Corruption is a significant market access barrier for SMEs looking to do business in overseas markets. It disproportionately impacts SME’s ability to prosper and grow as well as undermines innovation, job growth, economic stability and trade among APEC economies. This panel will explore actions APEC governments and the private sector can take to combat this barrier to SME growth.

Intellectual Property Rights and Trading Across Borders

Intellectual property is often an SME’s most valuable asset. Differing standards for IPR protection and enforcement across APEC economies presents risks for small businesses seeking to compete globally. Recent changes to U.S. patent law have also changed the ways SMEs need to approach IP protection. This session will explore resources available to SMEs seeking to protect IP as well as effective strategies to minimize the potential for violation of patents and copyrights.

The following companies and organizations will be represented in panel sessions
  • Advanced Medical Technology Association
  • FedEx Express
  • Fluor Corporation
  • I.M. Systems Group
  • Microsoft
  • Office of the United States Trade Representative
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association
  • TradeMoves LLC
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • University of Hawaii
  • and others