The 10th Women Leaders Network Meeting Daegu, Korea / 24-27 August 2005

1. Preamble
WLN is a public-private network of women of all sectors representing academia, civil society, business and government of the APEC economies that plays the important role by contributing women leader's perspectives and expertise to the APEC region.

 The Women Leaders Network, launched in 1996 in Manila, has facilitated the integration of gender perspectives, women's enterprises, and economic cooperation into the APEC agenda with annual recommendations to APEC Leaders and Ministers. This activity helps to achieve the needs of women and women entrepreneurs in the APEC region and increases participation and representation of women in APEC activities and a number of APEC fora.

- The 10th Women Leaders Network Meeting was held in 24-27 August, 2005, Daegu, Korea.

Women Leaders from APEC Economies came together to promote women's enterprises and support gender integration. More than 500 domestic and overseas participants from 19 APEC member Economies attended the network meeting including the focal points of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.

- The theme of WLN 2005 was "Prosperity of Women Entrepreneurs through Innovation: New Visions for Women Entrepreneurs" and the sub-themes were Microcredit Policies and Programs for Women Enterprises Development, Co-prosperity through Promoting the Next Generation Women Entrepreneurs; Access to Innovative ICT Technology; Promoting Trade through Networking in order to support SMEs ministerial meeting's theme "Promoting Innovation of SMEs".

2. Main issues

- The promotion of women enterprises and the economic effectiveness was presented and the policies and program for women entrepreneurs were emphasized. The participants recognized that women enterprises have played important role to accomplish gender integrated policies and development of SMEs.

- Woman Business Incubation Center of KWEA (Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association) was recognized as best practices of the promotion and development of women enterprises.

- The particpants shared the best practices of Microcredit policies and programs in APEC member economies and recognized the significant role of Microcredit in promoting and advancing women's micro enterprises.

- The meeting had the diverse proposal for promoting market access through networking which included undertaking more research o­n the challenges women SMEs face in expanding into the APEC markets, developing and providing trade promotion and training programs for women (rural, young and isolate).

- For access to infonnation communication technology, the ways to increase the level of support programs and policies for access to ICT infrastructure and training, and usage of ICT tools, including e-communties were discussed.

- On the 10th Year of WLN, outstanding agreement was made among the focal points from 19 economies (the focal points of China and Peru did not attend in 2005). They agreed in principle to establish an independently funded Secretariat for strengthening of the status and cooperation of the network.

- The participants cxpressed their sincere appreciation and congratulated our host for organizing a successful meeting.

3. Recommendations

In order to promote women's enterprise development and strengthen the Women Leaders Network, the WLN recommended that APEC Leaders and SME Ministers:

- Commend WLN's efforts to establish an independently funded Secretariat as it enters into its second decade.

- Acknowledge the enormous contributions WLN has made to the increased awareness of social and economic importance of women and to the development and implementation of policies integrated with gender perspectives within the APEC region.

- Recognize and acknowledge the economic benefits to be gained through promoting women enterprise development.

- Promote and provide incentives for women business incubation centers.

- Recognize the role of Microcredit in promoting and advancing women's micro enterprises, and the importance of developing and sharing effective Microcredit policies and best practices among APEC members by:

+ Endorsing pioneering research o­n micro enterprises in the informal sector using sex-disaggregated data.

+ Facilitating and sharing best practices and experiences in the micro enterprise sector between developed and developing APEC economies.

+ Encouraging the financial sector to serve women' s micro enterprises.