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Montana to Host Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, May 17, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Montana to Host Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial

Commerce Deputy Secretary Hightower announces Big Sky will host May 2011 meeting

WASHINGTON – Big Sky, Mont., will host the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) and other related meetings the week of May 23, 2011, Deputy U.S. Commerce Secretary Dennis Hightower announced today.

The SMEMM will be held in conjunction with the State Department’s APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting and the United States Trade Representative’s APEC Trade Ministerial Meeting to take advantage of the synergy created by having dozens of high-level economic policymakers in one location during the same period. The meetings also offer a unique opportunity to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to achieve President Obama’s goals of expanding exports, creating jobs, and stimulating the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through boosting their participation in international trade.

“The discussions held in Big Sky will help build a path toward creating jobs through exports, helping us meet the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative,” Hightower said. “By holding the meeting in conjunction with the State Department and the United States Trade Representative, we have an extraordinary opportunity for the U.S. government to work with the 20 other APEC members to break down international trade barriers that limit opportunities for small businesses across the Asia-Pacific.  We hope that small and medium enterprises from around the country can be active participants in the events in Big Sky and find new export opportunities.”

The APEC SMEMM is held annually by the APEC host economy to advance APEC's support for micro, small, and medium enterprises that comprise the majority of businesses in all 21 APEC member economies. In the APEC region, SMEs account for around 90 percent of all businesses and employ as much as 60 percent of the work force.  However, they generate only around 30 percent of global exports. The objective of the SMEMM and related meetings is to encourage the development of small and medium enterprises and to build their capacity to engage in international trade.