Expert Meeting on Improving the Competitiveness of SMEs in Developing Countries: The Role of Finance, including E-Finance, to Enhance Enterprise Development
22 - 24 October 2001

Key Issues



The Expert Meeting on Improving the Competitiveness of SMEs in Developing Countries: the Role of Finance, including E-Finance, to Enhance Enterprise Development will be held from 22 to 24 October 2001. The Meeting will open at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, at 10 a.m. on Monday, 22 October 2001.

The provisional agenda for this Expert Meeting, together with the secretariat’s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.3/EM.13/1. The UNCTAD secretariat is preparing, as official documentation for the Meeting, an issue paper entitled "Financing SMEs to enhance their operations and competitiveness" (TD/B/COM.3/EM.13/2). In addition, experts are encouraged to prepare brief papers on innovative mechanisms used by the financial sector in their countries to service SMEs. These papers will be made available at the Meeting in the form and languages in which they are received.

Member States are requested to nominate experts, who will participate in their personal capacities. Experts are expected to have proven expertise in the subject under discussion, and may be selected from the academic world, public and private sectors and NGOs. It would be particularly important to nominate experts from the financial sector.

With regard to financing the participation of developing countries’ experts in UNCTAD expert meetings in accordance with Trade and Development Board decision 456 (XLV), Governments of developing countries 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, phone number and fax number, and the name of a contact person in the Geneva permanent mission. 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. 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 in order to cover as many experts as possible, 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 des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). It is advisable to arrive by 9 a.m. to complete procedures and reach the Meeting in good time. Walking form Villa Les Feuillantines to the E-Building of the Palais (Bâtiment E) takes about 10 minutes. Participants are advised to carry a passport or similar identification document on them.

States members of UNCTAD wishing to nominate experts to the Meeting are requested to do so by 10 September 2001. Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the session, 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 the same date.

All communications concerning representation at the Meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Services, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10. (tel.: +41 22 907 5007, fax: +41 22 907 0056, e-mail: All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinator in the substantive division, tel.: +41 22 917 4204 or +41 22 917 5838, fax: +41 22 907 01 22.

Rubens Ricupero
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
8 August 2001


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