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ASEAN ministers urged to provide fund for SMEs
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19:55, August 13, 2009

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The private sector wanted the 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Ministers Meeting, or AEM, to arrange fund for strengthening the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Somkiat Anurath, Vice Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday.

The private sector wished the meeting to focus on cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, the Bangkok Post website quoted Somkiat as saying.

"The meeting of ASEAN plus three (China, Japan and South Korea) had agreed to set up a 120-billion-U.S. dollar fund. Therefore, at least one percent of the total fund should be allocated for projects to help strengthen business running ability of the SMEs", he said.

He expected that the meeting of ASEAN plus six (China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India) would help boost trade and investment in the region.

Earlier Thursday, the ASEAN economic ministers held dialogue with delegates from public and private sectors.

The 41st AEM and related meetings are expected to establish economic policies both in the region and with its dialogue partners and to enhance the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The ministers are also scheduled to meet with their six dialogue partners, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India to boost economic and trade investment between ASEAN and other countries.

Source: Xinhua

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