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Towards a Sustainable Future, “Promoting Eco-Innovation for SMEs”
31 Oct 2012

ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC) fosters Asia-Europe cooperation

Seoul, 15 June 2011 – The ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC) was established with the principal mandate of promoting Asia-Europe cooperation to create and enhance the eco-innovation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in both regions. The ASEIC, located in the Small and Medium Business Distribution Center in Seoul, Republic of Korea, held its official launch ceremony at 2 p.m. on 15 June 2011, co-hosted by the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) and the Small and Medium Business Corporation (SBC) of the Korean government. High-level officials from the government (Administrator of SMBA, President of SBC, Secretary-General of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth) and the heads of delegations from the ASEM member countries stationed in Korea such as the European Commission, Pakistan, Slovakia, Thailand, Denmark, etc. celebrated its official launch.

in October 2010, recognizing the importance of SMEs as the main engine of innovation and growth, leaders from ASEM member countries at the 8th ASEM Summit held in Brussels, Belgium, agreed to create ASEIC as international platform where growing environmental regulations and eco-innovative technologies are shared and new business opportunities are created.

In fact, the ASEM Forum 2010 on Green Growth and SMEs, which was held in Seoul in May, served as a momentum to establish the center. At the Forum, representatives from 28 countries of the ASEM members issued a joint statement encouraging the establishment of the ASEIC, under the leadership of Dr. Young Soogil, current chairman of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth (PCGG). Afterwards, the establishment of the ASEIC was discussed at the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting in July and then finally endorsed by the member countries at the 8th ASEM Summit with the presence of Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea.

Given the fact that the Korean Government has contributed to the international community in terms of promoting green growth experiences and encouraging international environmental governance in tackling climate change since the government set a nation’s core vision ‘Low Carbon Green Growth’, ASEM member countries agreed to the establishment of the ASEIC in Seoul.

For the first two years, the ASEIC puts an emphasis on implementing four major pilot projects as following: providing eco-innovation consulting service for small and medium enterprises, operating a web portal which contains environmental regulations and best practices around the globe, conducting global survey on the issue of eco-innovation and SMEs, and sharing best practices among ASEM member countries through international conference and seminar.

At present, the ASEIC is fully funded by the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) of the Republic of Korea amounting 2 bn KRW, but can possibly collect other dues-paying members if its initial projects are well-operated with ASEM members’ active participation. Meanwhile, in February this year, SMBA designated SBC as operational entity and recruited the director of the ASEIC and the other three experts on international relations who are in charge of the tasks related Asia, Europe and web portal, respectively.

“We are currently under interacting with other international entities, such as the European Commission and Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) to find a way of cooperation in order to enhance eco-innovation of SMEs in Asia and Europe”, said Sang-hoon Lee, Director of Technology and Innovation Bureau of the Small and Medium Business Administration.

And, “we are planning to hold regular working group seminars both in Asia and Europe to promote our projects in both regions”, he added.

Notes to Editors

Organisational Structure:
ASEIC Organisational Structure

ASEM Member Countries (48):

(Asia, 17) Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Republic of India, Republic of Indonesia, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Kingdom of Cambodia, Kingdom of Thailand, Republic of the Philippines, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, ASEAN Secretariat.

(Europe, 28) Hellenic Republic, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Latvia, Romania, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Malta, Kingdom of Belgium, Bulgaria, Kingdom of Sweden, Kingdom of Spain, Slovak Republic, Russian Republic, Republic of Slovenia, Ireland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Republic of Estonia, Republic of Austria, Italian Republic, Czech Republic, Republic of Cyprus, The Portuguese Republic, Republic of Poland, French Republic, Republic of Finland, Republic of Hungary, European Commission.

(Third Party, 3) Australia, New Zealand, Russia

Key participants to the Opening Ceremony (subject to change): Administrator of the Small and Medium Business Administration (ROK), President of Small & Medium Business Corporation (ROK), Secretary-General of the President Committee on Green Growth (PCGG) (ROK), Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Commission (EU), etc.

For more information contact:

Juhern Kim, Programme Manager, tel: +822 6678 4403, e-mail: