ASME Operations

ASME OPERATIONS - Leading the Way

Some Background

SME-CENTERS AUSTRALIA was established as a private industry initiative provide linkages to a number of APEC SME-CENTERS. The founders had prior experience working with a successful SME-CENTER in Indonesia. The APEC forum (established in 1989) aims to facilitate economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. In 1995 a series of initiatives specifically aimed at SME capacity-building were initiated. As at 2008, six priority areas were identified for the period 2009 to 2012: Business Environment, Building Management Capability and promoting entrepreneurship, Market access and Inter-nalization, Innovation, Financing and Sustainable Business Practices. Whilst many initiatives are established on a government-to-government basis, the private sector is also building relationships, as illustrated by the following declaration (part extract only). The SME-CENTER, Indonesia has been nominated as the coordinator of the FCCCIS initiative, and ASME works closely with that Center
The APEC New Delhi Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Services (FCCCIS) Declaration 2001
"We, the members of the G-15 FCCIS, having gathered at New Delhi, India on 16th January, 2001, in the 6th General Body Meeting of G-15 FCCIS to discuss tapping opportunities for trade amongst G-15 countries, to enhance the intra G-15 trade amongst member countries, to discuss key economic development issues of im-portance to the business people, to explore the possibilities of cooperation in investment matters and to take further action towards exploiting the full potential of Small and Medium Enterprises.
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the serious challenges being faced by the developing countries in the wake of globalization and rapid technological changes and the need to work together to face these challenges; RE-COGNISING that the establishment of economic cooperation groupings among developing countries have opened up new opportunities for trade and investment; REALISING the vulnerability of developing countries' economies to financial crises as those faced by the East Asian and Latin American Economies and the lessons learned from these crises and their recovery; CONSCIOUS that the increasing protectionism trends in developed country markets and the erosion of the bargaining power of developing countries underlines the need for greater G-16 cohesion and unity;
RECOGNISING the importance of SMEs in economic growth and poverty alleviation through employment generation and focusing on enhancing the level of cooperation among the SMEs of the member countries to exploit their full potential; APPRECIATING the role of the business sector in G-16 countries in implementing programs to promote trade and investment in general within the Group as well as facing global challenges; STRESSING the importance of the G-16 Expert Meeting on "Cooperation on SMEs among G-16 countries" to be held in Cairo, Egypt in February 2001, as an essential input from our governments to promote & maximizing cooperation on SMEs in G-16 countries; UNDERSTANDING the need and importance of private and public sector participation in formulating policy options for tapping the opportunities for intra-G-16 trade and investment.
Having decided to adopt the following agenda for Cooperation in Trade and Investments among G-16 coun-tries. G-16 FCCIS will: EVOLVE specific strategies in various sectors relating to expansion of intra-G-16 trade and cooperation in respect of accessing developed countries' markets. IDENTIFY economic complementarities and synergies for promoting inter-firm cooperation, partnerships and networks in order to develop technological capacity, improve market access and promote innovation. ESTABLISH a Core Group of G-16 FCCIS on E-commerce; new procedures at all levels to facilitate exchange of information on technical coop-eration and commercial opportunities through information infrastructures and networking facilities, includ-ing developing "G-16 FCCIS Website" which provides a network between all G-16 Chambers of Commerce & Industries and facilities on-line E-commerce. RECOMMEND the respective governments to designate in-stitutions and G-16 focal points in Government, Trade and Investment Promotion Agencies as well as APEC Chambers for the promotion and facilitation of intra-G-16 trade and investment. DEVELOP SME Focal Points for information dissemination, SME Trade Development, Institutional Capacity Building , Training and Enterprise to Enterprise cooperation. SET UP expert group for identifying/establishing concrete mechanisms to boost trade and investment within the outside G-16 in selected sectors and for specific products; and enhancing opportunities for exporting G-16 expertise and services to developed countries' markets. REALISE existing and potential intra-15 opportunities in trade, investment and technology transfer in key areas and sectors. ACKNOWLEDGE AND SUPPORT the investment of public and private sectors in SME Cooperation and accordingly endorse the activities of the G-16 Chambers of Commerce and Industry and encourage participation in various projects. PROMOTE and ENHANCE, among G-16 countries, economic and trade relations in the areas , such as trade financing, insurance, shipping, logistics, trade facilitation, promotion and protection of investments, avoidance of double taxation, and product specification and standards. CONSULT AND COORDINATE, as appropriate, among G-16 trade and industry groups on WTO process with a view to understand and assess the implications of the negotiations on increasing market access for the goods, services and sectors of export interest to the developing countries and to prevent the denial of market access due to, inter alliance, linkage of environment and labor standards of trade. MAKE efforts to build institutional mechanisms in G-16 countries at different levels to facilitate constructive and focused interaction between Governments and Business Associations and between Business Associations of G-16 countries in order to develop deeper understanding of the WTO rules and their implications so as to ensure fair and equitable outcomes for G-16 Trade and Industry in WTO discussions.

Our Aspirations

The Vision of the SME-CENTER Australia
To be a leading institution in Empowering and Developing Small Medium Enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region

Enacting the Vision

We aim to realize our vision by facilitating market access and internalization, building management capabil-ity and promoting entrepreneurship supported by innovation and financing initiatives combined with sus-tainable business practices. This will involve:
• Increasing international marketing activities and promotion through sound strategy in entering the global market.
• Establishing strategic alliances between SMEs and large companies or among SMEs
• Searching the International and Domestic market through Electronic Commerce.
• Establishing a secure system of payment and trade financing.
• Barter and counter trade.
• Consulting in formulating information systems, in production technology and in management practices.
International Linking between APEC SME Centers
We aspire to support the goals of the Asian SME Centers in:
• Establishing a global market information network system interactively, easily, cheaply for the Small Me-dium Enterprises (SMEs) and acting as a trading house for both domestic and international projects
• Assisting SMEs in improving their business capabilities in the global market by the application of Informa-tion Technology in promotion, business consultations, transactions, post transactions, etc.
• Supporting SME Development Stages through education and consulting on a range of business topics

How We Operate

SME-CENTER Australia, like many other APEC Centers is a "virtual center" that operates both through the resources of its members and through facilitating commercial projects. ASME acts as a node in a network and point of transit for local businesses to develop regional business alliances via other nodes of G-16 economies and other appropriate “Centers of Excellence”. As a point of transit, we will accommodate and adapt to various differences between national systems of trade & investment liberalization as well as technology. We establish cooperation and coordination with government, state enterprises, private enterprises, universities, and NGO at a national level as appropriate for specific projects.
We have two modes of operation:
• a long-term informal network of complementary organizations exploring trade and development oppor-tunities supported by our executive team of industry champions
• a series of shorter-term formal network relationships to address a specific opportunity for members sup-ported by a project “champion”, the executive team and participating members
Individual APEC SME-CENTERS may be set up quite differently. In some countries, a centre may provide a means of government engagement with the SME community to provide total solution for SMEs and receive significant government funding . In other cases a centre may complement established government SME support arrangements and operate through Chambers of Commerce. Whatever the working arrangements, all APEC SME-CENTERS provide linkages between individual SMEs that may benefit from working together, provide linkages with enterprises that can help SMEs develop, and provide a direct range of business and educational services.
In Australia, there are a variety of government agencies that can help SMEs. The SME-CENTER Australia complements these agencies, working on fee-paying member-driven projects

The Executive Team

Virtual organizations are essentially networks of voluntary participants who cooperate to achieve common goals. For such organizations to be sustained, some person or group must be enthusiastic about realizing the vision of the organization or a specific project it undertakes. Some-one must be the “champion”. Some-one must establish and implement member network communication arrangements. There are both relationships and tasks to be managed.
The ASME executive team takes responsibility for acting as the “champion” for our long-term informal net-work that explores possibilities, for establishing communication arrangements and for establishing other elements of infrastructure needed for ASME operation using ICT tools. Members of the Executive Team may also take a role in shorter term projects as ASME members

The Executive Team, July 2010