CompTIA, in cooperation with the International Trade Administration, hosted a seminar for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial in Chiclayo, Peru. The seminar, representing broad views on how to nurture and boost SME innovation through technology, aims to provide APECs 21 economies with a roadmap toward greater prosperity in our increasingly ICT-connected, global economy.
“Studies show that where economies habitually invest in ICT, yields in GDP and worker productivity increase,” noted Bob Kramer, Vice President of Public Policy for CompTIA. “By contrast, however, for those economies that invest poorly in ICT, their yields appear much less pronounced. So, the ‘takeaway’ here is: an ethos of continual ICT investment – as opposed to spotty or non-investment – makes for stronger, more prosperous economies and peoples.”
SMEs play a huge role in virtually all economies. For many APEC economies, however, significant challenges to SME development remain. “Among other things, a yawning gap in technological skills capacity frustrates SMEs’ abilities to take advantage of ICT or otherwise grow,” stated Michael Mudd, Director of Asia-Pac Public Policy for CompTIA. He added, “For SME entrepreneurs to undertake and expand on new activities, this obstacle needs to be addressed, reduced. Admittedly, it won’t disappear overnight. But, in identifying and recognizing where it exists, governments and industries can see areas where they can work together to develop more favorable environments for the acquisition of ICT skills, all of which benefits SMEs.”
Chosen in 2003, Peru chairs the 2008 APEC Summit. This year’s theme: “A new commitment to the Asia-Pacific Development.” The Summit’s goal: “Strengthen the focus on personal and economic development, to include an integral approach to the major issues that affect the region, such as energy security, personal security, climate change and sustainable economic growth.” Seeking to springboard off of this work, CompTIA’s panel presentations included three workshops, broadly entitled: “Innovation management and technology for entrepreneurs.” Across the panels, government officials, industry representatives and academics presented views concerning innovation for small businesses, challenges to that innovation, and solutions that promote innovative entrepreneurship. (The agenda, individual presentations, background white papers and bios for the seminar can be found at: http://www.comptia.org/issues/asia.aspx )
By all accounts, the well-attended event was a success. CompTIA’s Kramer was not surprised. “Economies that promote entrepreneurial activity not only benefit their local markets, they also boost the welfare of the surrounding regions – a goal which drives APEC,” averred the CompTIA official. “Innovating ICT itself, or innovating around ICT, opens a door on prosperity that brings sustainable, expanding returns. We hope that with the work of APEC, this door opens ever-wider not only for APEC economies, but for other economies that see this as a proven model to growth and development.”
The Computing Technology Association (CompTIA) is the voice of the world’s $3 trillion information technology industry. CompTIA membership extends into more than 100 countries and includes companies at the forefront of innovation; the channel partners and solution providers they rely on to bring their products to market; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their technology investments. For more information please visit http://www.comptia.org .