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AmCham Shanghai Launches SME Center to Support U.S. Small Businesses Competing in the China Market

SHANGHAI, Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) launched its SME Center on November 6, an initiative dedicated to boosting the competitiveness of U.S. small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) competing in China. Located in the Chamber's Shanghai office, the SME Center will provide services and resources tailored to the needs of American small businesses exporting to China and those considering the China market as a destination for investment and business expansion. 

"U.S. SMEs see a tremendous opportunity in China and there are an increasing number of American small businesses here in Shanghai. But they face unique challenges not faced by larger multinational companies," said Brenda Foster, president of AmCham Shanghai. "The AmCham Shanghai SME Center will support the business success of American SMEs by offering specific services to address these challenges and leveraging our 3,700-strong Chamber membership."

The launch event was attended by both U.S. and Chinese government officials who have responded enthusiastically to the AmCham Shanghai SME Center, citing it as an example of a public private partnership that will contribute to bilateral trade relations and support economic growth in the U.S. and China. 

Robert Griffiths, U.S. Consul General in Shanghai highlighted the important role the SME Center will play in his remarks provided at the launch event. "Encouraging more American SMEs to enter the Chinese market will deepen our two countries' trade and commercial ties, and contribute to job creation in the United States.  Our SMEs are innovative and well positioned to compete in China, and this center will help them do so," said Griffiths.

SME Center staff will work closely with U.S. government agencies, in particular the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, which is tasked with supporting American companies abroad including small businesses.

Yang Yihang, Deputy Director General of the Investment Promotion Agency of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) noted in his remarks at the launch event, "Unlike Fortune 500 companies, SMEs do not often come with the thorough knowledge about operating in the China market. Therefore, they have a stronger need for support in accessing information and resources and understanding policies. The launch of AmCham Shanghai's SME Center responds to this need. I believe the Center will do a great deal to promote the success of American SMEs in China."

Working with the Chamber's dedicated SME Center staff and by leveraging AmCham Shanghai's membership, U.S. SMEs will now be able to take advantage of:

  • Best-in-class research tools, databases and market analysis
  • Informational briefings and tutorials on issues critical to an SME's success in China
  • A referral service connecting SMEs to AmCham Shanghai member service-providers well suited to support U.S. SMEs in China
  • Meeting room facilities for China-based U.S. SMEs or for those American small businesses making their first visit to China to explore the market

Additional services and resources will be rolled out in 2013 with a focus on supporting American SMEs located in the U.S. that are interested in exporting to China or exploring the China market.

The SME Center has also generated great interest from Chinese companies and Chinese government agencies interested in investing in the U.S. but who lack market knowledge and support on the ground.

The Chamber is currently exploring ways in which its SME Center could connect willing Chinese investors with U.S. businesses (particularly SMEs), organizations and governments interested in meeting with them.

The SME Center launch was held in the new AmCham Shanghai Conference Center, which was also officially christened at the event. The Conference Center will support a greater number of events and functions to be held at the AmCham Shanghai office.

The launch event hosted over 140 attendees, including U.S. and Chinese government officials providing services vital to the operations of SMEs in Shanghai, Suzhou and other surrounding cities in the Yangtze River Delta region. AmCham Shanghai members and the Chamber's SME Advisory Committee were also in attendance at the launch event.

About AmCham Shanghai

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, known as the "Voice of American Business" in China, is the largest and fastest growing American Chamber in the Asia-Pacific region. Founded in 1915, AmCham Shanghai was the third American Chamber established outside the United States. As a non-profit, non-partisan business organization, AmCham Shanghai is committed to the principles of free trade, open markets, private enterprise and the unrestricted flow of information.

Visit www.amcham-shanghai.org for more information about AmCham Shanghai.

SOURCE The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai

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