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  APEC conference for smaller firms underway  



More than 1,000 exhibitor booths are on offer at the fifth APEC forum for small and medium-sized enterprises. Ju Chuanjiang

The fifth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Medium & Small Enterprises Technology Conference and Fair (APEC METC) opened yesterday in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province.

One minute of silence at the opening ceremony honored victims of the May 12 earthquake.

"The fifth APEC METC focuses on energy saving technology, environmental protection, new building materials and new and high technology and provides a dynamic platform to enhance cooperation, dialog and technology exchanges among the APEC members to achieve a sustainable development," Liu Tienan, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission said in his speech at the opening ceremony.

Statistics from the Qingdao International Conference and Exhibition Secretariat show that 1,036 exhibition booths have been reserved and 100 overseas business groups have registered to attend the fair.

The four-day gathering sponsored by the National Development and Reform Commission will feature forums, business negotiations and technology exchanges on environmental protection, energy saving and pollution control.

The fair will host several forums including the second dialog between Fortune 500 companies and APEC SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), APEC Youth Economic Leaders Summit, Mainland-Hong Kong Investment and Financing Forum, APEC SME Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Forum and the Asia-Pacific Biofuels Summit.

An international outsourcing conference, a promotion meeting for environmental protection projects and a release of new products and new technology will also be held during the fair.

"The fifth APEC METC offers more to meet the requirements of SMEs in aspects of technology exchange, forums, negotiations and meetings on the release of new products," said an official from the Secretariat of Qingdao International Conference and Exhibition.

A range of goods will be exhibited at the fair, including recycled products, automobile parts, new specialized machinery and new construction materials.

Highlighting the theme of "Technology Boosts Economy, Cooperation Creates Future", the APEC METC offers a platform for SMEs from the 21 APEC members to interact with each other. About 30 environmental protection companies, including those from Japan and Australia, brought new products in water treatment, energy saving and pollution control to seek potential partners.

Companies from Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia showcased advanced products, technologies and equipment in food processing and energy saving. Business groups from Singapore, the Netherlands and Russia attend the international outsourcing conference.

The fourth APEC METC held in May 2006 in Qingdao attracted nearly 1,000 companies from home and abroad and drew 75,000 visitors including 8,500 from overseas. The fourth fair registered foreign trade deals worth $203 million and domestic trade agreements worth 765 million yuan.

The first APEC METC was held in Japan in 1996. Qingdao also held the third APEC METC in 2004.





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