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Declaration

TERMS OF REFERENCE
OF THE WORKING GROUP ON
SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMES)

Pursuant to Articles 4 and 12 of the BSEC Charter, the Working Group on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) is a BSEC Subsidiary Organ and shall carry out its activities in accordance with the following Terms of Reference (*):


SPECIFIC PROVISIONS*

1. PURPOSES/GENERAL OBJECTIVES

The purposes/general objectives of the Working Group are:

 - Increasing the competitiveness of the SMEs by creating fair and favorable conditions at both national and regional levels and undertaking regular surveys on SMEs’ needs, priorities and problems in the BSEC Region;

- Facilitating networking, exchange of experiences and know-how on SME related issues in the region;

- Promoting and supporting access to finance for SMEs in the BSEC Member States;

- Improving the access of SMEs from the BSEC Member States to other markets, in particular by stimulating the export capacity of SMEs and promoting cross-border cooperation and business partnership with neighboring countries;

- Focusing on high technology, innovation, clusters, industrial-technology and software parks and business incubators as concrete instruments to facilitate SME start-ups in the Member States and to encourage entrepreneurship, competitiveness and cooperation with large companies in the BSEC Region;

- Fostering a support system for innovation and technology in the BSEC Region, through promoting cooperation between SMEs and the university environment, research and development institutions;

- Promoting the elaboration and implementation of multilateral projects and organization of joint events in the SMEs sector.

* The "Sepcific Provisions" of the Terms of Reference have to be read in conjunction with the "General Provisions".