The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) World Forum, in collaboration with the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), convened a global gathering of entrepreneurs, small business owners, policy makers, researchers, educators, and others to bring creativity and innovative ideas from around the world. The inaugural SME World Forum assembled some of the most creative and empathetic world leaders. The Delta Asia Financial Group, led by Mr. Stanley Au, and the Small and Medium Enterprises of Macao hosted this forum from December 11th to 14th, 2019.
The SME World Forum focused on Macau and with the theme of 2019, SMEs and Entrepreneurship – Leading the Way Forward. The expanded focus on creativity and innovation led by SMEs is the pathway needed for the Greater Bay Area (GBA). The “Greater Bay Area” (GBA) is a Chinese government’s initiative to link the cities of Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing into an integrated economic and business hub.
The strong links with major urban centers in the GBA region provides talent, innovation, and problem solving for critical industry in fashion, environmental management, information and communication technologies, and tourism.
On the first day of the conference was the kick-off of the entrepreneurial boot-camp called ICSB Academy. The program brought together youth and students from Macao universities with academicians and business leaders for a full day of interactive sessions. The official opening session took place the following day, December 12th, and was followed by several plenary sessions with local and global leaders. The third day of the conference was focused on panel insights from business leaders and entrepreneurs over a variety of topics from finance to tourism. Lastly, on Saturday, the final day of the conference, attendees were offered the unique experience of touring the Greater Bay Area region. These four days of business immersion and networking with youths, entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy-makers, and researchers showcased why Macao is a leading place for growth and entrepreneurship.
While the SME World Forum was being held, a major announcement that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Macao the same week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the city’s handover from Portugal to China. Major economic positives resulted based on the focus of innovation, SMEs, and China moving to further improve Macao economy.