Turin Round Table to help SMEs deal with the global financial crisis


18/03/2009 - SMEs are suffering under the credit crunch, with banks demanding tougher loan terms while sales weaken and debtors delay payments. How can governments help? A Round Table organised under the auspices of the OECD to discuss possible policy options will take place on 26-27 March in Turin. Journalists are welcome to attend.


Hosted by Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s largest bank, the Turin Round Table on the Impact of the Global Crisis on SME and Entrepreneurship Financing and Policy Responses will address current problems facing SMEs and look for new solutions.


Access to financing has always been one of the most significant challenges for the creation, survival and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially innovative ones. The problem is exacerbated now that enterprises operate in the most severe financial and economic crisis in decades.


The meeting will bring together more than 100 participants from 37 countries/economies representing governments, businesses, financial institutions and  international organisations.


Speakers will include Romania’s Secretary of State for SMEs, Maria Pârcalabescu; Korea’s Director General for Small and Medium Business Administration, Jinhyung Kim; Russian Federation’s Head of Department of State Regulation in the Economy of Ministry of Economic Development, Andrey V. Sharov; United States’ Chief Economist of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), William Dunkelberg; Deputy Secretary- General of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Karl-Friedrich Cordewener; and the Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF), Richard Pelly.


“Most OECD governments have already initiated public capital injections to deal with bank liquidity problems, while several governments have adopted more targeted measures to aid SMEs,” said OECD Deputy Secretary General Pier Carlo Padoan. “In Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan and Spain, banks have received additional public funding to help small businesses and entrepreneurs.  The Turin Round Table will help us to highlight these initiatives, share the experiences of measures already taken and advise on new measures planned by OECD and non-OECD governments”. 


Recommendations from the Turin Round Table will form the basis for an  input into the OECD’s strategic response to the crisis, which in turn will feed into the G-20 and G-8 processes.


Media arrangements:
•  Journalists would be able to follow the presentations and debates during the Round Table from an adjacent listening room. (The event will take place under the so-called Chatham House rule.)  Journalists will be allowed to take photos and videos at the beginning of the Opening Session and at the Press Conference.

• A press briefing will  be organised over lunch with the Chair of the WPSMEE and the Chair of the WPSMEE informal Steering Group on SME and Entrepreneurship Financing, and representatives of the OECD Secretariat.

• Journalists will be free to interview individual participants during breaks and when available.

To register attendance, journalists are requested to contact Nicholas Bray in the OECD’s Media Division at – tel +33145248090.
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