unctad.org | Multi-year expert meeting on enterprise development policies and capacity-building in science, technology and innovation (STI)
Multi-year expert meeting on enterprise development policies and capacity-building in science, technology and innovation (STI)
20 - 22 January 2009

Key Issues

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This multi-year expert meeting will seek to identify policies and best practices that encourage the creation and promote the international competitiveness of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

This will include the identification of existing national and international support measures and good practices for SME development and internationalization.

The multi-year expert meeting will also review the coordination and consistency of existing policy measures dealing with the promotion of entrepreneurship and private sector development, including the simplification of the regulatory and administrative environment.

The first year will deal with policy measures to promote entrepreneurship and enterprise formation. The meeting will review the main elements identified for implementing an entrepreneurship policy:

  • Raising awareness of entrepreneurship as a career option.

  • Developing mechanisms for generating and highlighting potential entrepreneurial opportunities.

  • Supporting individuals who assume the risk of starting a firm or commercializing knowledge.

  • Helping those struggling to grow their firms to gain access to necessary resources.

It will focus on the three main approaches that are relevant to encourage entrepreneurship in the start-up phase:

  • Support to entrepreneurship infrastructure.

  • The promotion of research-industry-government collaboration.

  • Access to finance, a major hurdle in developing countries.

Another objective of the expert meeting will be to identify effective means to apply science, technology and innovation (STI) to development, and in particular to improve the levels of productivity and competitiveness of the enterprises of developing countries as a means to contribute to the fight against poverty.

In this first year of the expert meeting, the emphasis will be placed on STI capacity-building, including aspects such as STI policy and institutional development, STI regulatory framework and the encouragement of technology-based businesses, including through technology transfer.

Intended Outcome

The outcome of the meeting will be used to complete a checklist of best practices to advise developing countries on how to set up and sequence the implementation of a comprehensive entrepreneurship development policy and how to promote the design and implementation of STI policies that can contribute significantly to poverty reduction.

Inputs from experts

Experts nominated by member States are encouraged to submit brief papers (approximately five pages) by 1 January 2009 to: Victor.konde@unctad.org, with copy to: angel.gonzalez-sanz@unctad.org.

The papers should be submitted to the UNCTAD secretariat in advance of the meeting.

The papers, which will draw on national and private sector experience, will be made available at the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.



The expert meeting on enterprise development policies and capacity-building in science, technology and innovation will be held from 20 to 22 January 2009, in room XXVI of the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will be opened at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 20 January 2009.


UNCTAD member States are requested to nominate experts no later than 20 November 2008.

Experts, who will participate in the meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject, and they may be selected from governmental and non governmental organizations, private entities or academia.

The meeting may be of particular interest to government officials and representatives of the private sector involved in enterprise formation, incubation and financing, as well as in the promotion of public-private partnerships aimed at increasing the integration of developing countries SMEs into the global economy.

The meeting may also be of particular interest to government officials and to representatives of the private sector involved in science, technology and innovation policy. In addition, experts from international and regional organizations will be invited as resource persons.

Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 20 November 2008.

Financial assistance

Limited funds will be made available to finance the participation of a selected number of officially nominated experts from developing countries, including least developed countries. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation, needs of beneficiaries and the expertise of the experts concerned, as well as the type and availability of funding in the trust fund for financing the participation of experts. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 20 November 2008 and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Mailing address

  • Telephone and fax number

  • E-mail address

  • Name of a contact person in the country´s permanent mission in Geneva

It should be noted in this connection that, once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations. The least costly fare will be authorized.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/C.II/MEM.1/1. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared two issues notes, which will be circulated as TD/B/C.II/MEM.1/2 and TD/B/C.II/MEM.1/3.

In addition, all experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers related to one or several of the issues contained in the provisional agenda to the meeting, as well as those relating to their country´s experience in increasing the participation of SMEs into global value chains.

These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.


The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations.

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges at the United Nations Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 Avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete entry procedures in good time and proceed to the meeting in the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations, and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the United Nations Security Service gives special clearance.

Further information and contact details

Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH- 1211 Geneva 10. fax: + 41(0) 22 917 0214; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org.

All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinators in the substantive divisions, tel.: +41 (0)22 917 2943 or +41 (0)22 917 5611 (for enterprise development) or +41 (0) 22 917 75891 (for science, technology and innovation issues) ; fax: +41 (0)22 917 0122; e-mail: fiorina.mugione@unctad.org or victor.konde@unctad.org or marta.perez.cuso@unctad.org.


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
3 November 2008


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