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Global SMEs Expo 2009 Held in Shanghai

Representing more than 98% of all businesses worldwide, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an instrumental role in the socio-economic development of the entire global community and are a major force not only in economic prosperity but also in social stability. Faced with a grim financial crisis that the world has not seen for decades, SMEs from all nations should work together to seek co-prosperity by partnering, supporting and complementing each other.


To achieve this goal and to explore global SME cooperation and co-development strategies, the Global Alliance of SMEs (GASME) and US-China Exchange Association (USCEA) together with over twenty prominent international trade associations organized a Global SME Expo 2009 on July 13th, 2009 in Shanghai. More than 500 leaders from various national governments, trade associations and financial firms as well as entrepreneurs participated in the program.


Distinguished guests in attendance included more than 30 principals from worldwide trade associations, such as Mr. William Spitler, Chairman of GASME, Dr. Kegang Wu, Chairman of British-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in UK, Mr. Shawn He Yuxun, Chairman of MeetChinaBiz.org, Mr. Ai Feng, Vice President of China Federation of Industries, Mr. Thomas Reichenbach, Chief Representative of German Alliance of SMEs in China, Dr. Jean Marie Cishahayo, President of China-Africa Trade and Investment Association, Mr. Ma Jun, Vice President of China International Cooperation Association of SMEs, and Mr. Rafael Valdez Mingramm, President of Mexican Chamber of Commerce in China.


Also in attendance were over twenty senior officials from various foreign consulate generals in Shanghai, such as Dr. Peter Kreutzberger, Vice Consul General from the German Consulate General, Mr. Dario L. Mengucci, Vice Consul General from the Argentinean Consulate General, Mr. Anderzej Picezonka, First Counselor from the Polish Consulate General, Mr. Vladimir Kyocera, Commercial Counselor from the Peruvian Consulate General, and Mr. Serdar Afsar, Commercial Counselor from the Turkish Consulate General.


In addition, the program was also attended by nearly a hundred government officials from China and other countries, including Mr. Chu Shijia, Special Convoy for China's Ministry of Commerce in Shanghai, Mr. Robert Coble, Mayor of Columbia, SC and Mr. Tom Means, Mayor of Mountain View, CA, both from the United States, Mr. Stephano Smars, Commercial Counselor of the Wallonia Export And Foreign Investment Agency from Belgium, and Mr. Chen Xiao, Mayor of Dongyang City in Zhejiang Province, China.


Twelve senior trade association, government and consulate officers delivered speeches on the topic of Global SMEs Cooperation. In his speech entitled The Long March to Facilitating International Cooperation, GASME Chairman William Spitler noted that more than a half of national and global wealth is created by SMEs, and that "…with increasing development of transnational production, free trade, commodity, capital and market globalization, all enterprises, large or small, tend to deploy their development goals in a global perspective. The growth of SMEs especially attracts our eyes."


As to how to promote international cooperation amongst SMEs, Mr. Spitler suggested that all trade associations for SMEs --

1. work hand in hand to establish a multilateral dialogue mechanism, in order to explore SME international cooperative strategies and measures in the context of globalization and effectively promote their bilateral or multilateral collaborations across borders, all these to be done in a way that all involved can, with an eye to the future, agree to disagree and mutually benefit each other to create win-win.

2. maintain effective communications with their respective governments to encourage the latter to provide greater support to SMEs, and to extend to them privileges and benefits that are equal to or even greater than those given to larger enterprises.


3. pool efforts to actively encourage international cooperation between SMEs from developed nations and those from emerging ones. Collaborations could take the form of joint ventures, subcontracting, franchise, and outsourcing, etc.

4. unite and integrate the efforts, energies and potentials of a wide range of partners in the process of SME development, so as to rapidly enhance SMEs' international competitiveness and enable them to create jobs and drive economic growth.

5. coordinate their efforts and help expand SME international cooperation and exchange in intellectual property and technology transfer, innovation, financing, market development, human resources and consulting.


To help global SMEs carry out reciprocal and mutually beneficial cross-border collaborations and promote their rapid, healthy and sustainable development and thereby bring about a new age of SME exchange and co-prosperity, the GASME and all the participating trade associations from various nations jointly presented a Shanghai Manifesto on Global SME Cooperation.


Signing ceremonies were also held for the creation of Global Industry Cluster Cooperation Base as well as US-China Partnership Cities. The former included a Global Stationery Industry Cooperation Base to be co-developed by GASME and Ninghai County, Zhejiang, and a Global Woodcarving Industry Cooperation Base by GASME and Dongyang, Zhejiang; The latter was one between the Xiuzhou District of Jiaxing, Zhejiang and the City of Mountain View in California of the United States.


The 2009 Top Ten Chinese SME Entrepreneurs award was also presented at the conference to ten Chinese entrepreneurs who demonstrated such qualities as being innovative, visionary and internationally-minded as well as having a strong sense of social responsibilities. Some of them either excelled at building an environmentally-conscious business or were at the forefront of making their business efficient, profitable, global as well as socially responsible; Others were on the cutting-edge of technology and innovation among their peers; And yet others were known for their management excellence and leadership in their industries.


During the course of the day, other important events such as a Global Trade Association Executive Roundtable and a business matchmaking session were also held. More than 80 tabletop booths were staffed by various international trade associations, financial firms, as well as foreign consulates and economic and trade promotion agencies. And they carried out fruitful one-on-one exchanges with the attending Chinese SMEs, resulting in 152 prospective business or trade transactions.


Netease (www.163.com), China's leading online media, was the exclusive strategic media partner for this Expo. And Netease's finance portal (money.163.com) carried out live broadcast of the highlights of the Expo online.