The Expert Meeting on Improving the Competitiveness of SMEs through Enhancing Productive Capacity: Financing Technology will be held from 28 to 30 October 2002 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. Documents concerning this Expert Meeting and other UNCTAD meetings can be found on the UNCTAD website (www.unctad.org).
The Expert Meeting is expected to bring together high-level experts from the public and private sectors, as well as academia and international organizations, to examine policies and mechanisms to finance technology. The aim of the Meeting is to identify best practices that have produced a positive impact in terms of improving productive capacity and that can be replicated in developing countries. The outcome of the Expert Meeting will be of direct relevance for the post-Doha programme and to the WTO Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology, which is examining steps to increase flows of technology to developing countries.
The provisional agenda for the Meeting, together with the secretariat’s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.3/EM.16/1. The UNCTAD secretariat is preparing, as official documentation for the Meeting, an issues note entitled “Financing technology for SMEs" (TD/B/COM.3/EM.16/2), aimed at facilitating the discussions.
In addition, experts are encouraged to submit specific contributions, such as country cases studies, concerning: (i) private sector mechanisms, especially for SMEs, to finance technology, such as venture capital, equity markets, technology-oriented commercial credit; (ii) government measures and programmes for financing R&D and technology acquisition and mastery; (iii) impact of WTO rules on the long-term use of these policies and mechanisms.
Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts in technology/or finance at an early date and not later than 30 September 2002. Experts, who will participate in the Meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject, that is financing the commercialization and application of new technologies by SMEs, and may be selected from Governments, academia, the private sector, and NGOs. In addition, experts from international and regional organizations dealing with issues related to financing technology will be invited.
With regard to financing the participation of experts in UNCTAD expert meetings, Governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition are requested to nominate one expert as a possible beneficiary of financing for this Expert Meeting. Nominations should be received at least four weeks before the Meeting, and they should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae of the nominee, his or her address, telephone, fax, e-mail address, and the name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva. The Secretary-General of UNCTAD will base his decisions as to which experts should receive financing on the principle of equitable geographical representation, beneficiary needs and the expertise of the experts concerned. It should be noted in this connection that the funds available will make it possible to finance the participation of 10 experts from developing countries and countries in transition. Once the list of experts has been finalized, the Secretary-General will have all travel arrangements made in accordance with United Nations financial rules and regulations, though use of the least costly travel fare will be authorized.
Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badge at the UN Security Service, Villa Les Feuillantines, 13 Avenue de la Paix (close to the main entrance to the Palais on the Place des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Due to the existing security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive by 8.30 a.m. in order to complete procedures and reach the Meeting in good time. Walking from Villa Les Feuillantines to the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais takes about 10 minutes. Participants are advised to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them.
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 30 September 2002.
All 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 0056, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinator in the substantive division, (tel.: +41 (0)22 917 5802 or +41 (0)22 917 5561, fax: + 41 22 917 01 22).
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
7 August 2002