ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
EMERGING ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL: REGIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION
(Item 6 (a) of the provisional agenda)
REPORT ON THE ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY
Note by the secretariat
1. In accordance with its mandate, in 1998 APCTT continued to assist the members and associate members of ESCAP through strengthening their capabilities to develop, transfer, adapt and apply technology to improve the terms of transfer of technology and to identify and promote the development and transfer of technologies relevant to the region.
2. A pragmatic programme of work was drawn up, targeted towards four priority areas: (a) promotion of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs); (b) promotion of technology information and utilization; (c) strengthening of technology management; and (d) encouragement of more effective participation of women in the field of technology. Thirty-eight technology transfer-related events - 8 training programmes, 14 regional workshops, 8 exhibitions, 3 seminars and 5 expert groupmeetings - were organized in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyzstan, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan and Viet Nam in cooperation with 54 partner institutions. More than 700 business meetings of prospective technology suppliers with technology seekers were arranged and 100 business delegations from within the region and outside visited APCTT for consultations. Of the total 3,500 negotiations facilitated by APCTT in 1998, the flow of technology information from APCTT to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the South-South and North-South direction was 40 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively.
3. In 1998, APCTT enhanced its in-house capabilities in providing value-added EST transfer services to SMEs and expanded the outreach of those services to a larger group of target users for the promotion of environmentally sound technologies. The Centre rendered customized services to government agencies, consultants, the private sector and non-governmental organizations in the Asian and Pacific region, providing information on ESTs suitable and affordable to SMEs. The focus of the inquiries was on cleaner production, cleaner technologies and best practices in small-scale industries within the priority sectors of the Centre. APCTT has made selected EST opportunities on the Internet available on the Centre's Web site. In addition to information on EST opportunities, APCTT has started providing information on other aspects of the technology transfer process such as financing sources for EST transfer, financial and non-financial incentives available for EST and cleaner products, sector-specific studies on EST development in different countries and model/sample technology transfer agreements. Within the framework of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, APCTT has been designated as the Subregional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes. The Centre has also been called upon to assume the role of a coordinating body for a regional cooperative policy mechanism to promote the transfer of environmentally sound technologies in view of its ongoing work on EST transfer to SMEs.
4. The Centre also worked towards enhancing EST transfer partnerships and networks among technology transfer institutions in order to promote further intraregional and interregional cooperation. INTET ASIA, a self-sustained international network, was established by APCTT as a subnetwork of the Mechanism for Exchange of Technology Information (METI) to promote transfer of ESTs among SMEs. It has so far attracted 182 members from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, the Netherlands, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Efforts are being made to establish INTET national networks in other member countries of APCTT. The Centre had facilitated such national networks in India and Pakistan. Similar networks are being established in China and the Russian Federation.
5. In 1998, APCTT worked on upgrading its technology information and utilization services in two directions, namely, enhancing its in-house database and strengthening its regional networks. Several new databases were created by the Centre on technology financing sources, support services and international technology/product markets to facilitate an integrated technology transfer service package. The mechanisms used by the Centre for the dissemination of information include technical periodicals/publications, technology information/transfer networks, partnerships with technology transfer intermediaries worldwide, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, business meetings and direct contacts with entrepreneurs. Information is also circulated through various business information gateways such as information centres/networks, chambers of commerce, industrial associations and technical periodicals. In 1998, APCTT upgraded its library to an information centre providing a wide range of technology information services, including Internet and database access for technology seekers and providers.
6. Regular exchange of technology information was encouraged among the members of the SME-oriented technology information network, METI, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. Several countries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, have requested to be included in this network.
7. Several initiatives were taken in 1998 to enhance the content quality of the Centre's periodicals, source the latest technological information and reach out to SMEs. The bimonthly publication entitled Asia Pacific Tech Monitor currently has 2,000 subscribers in 73 countries. In addition, the five periodic updates under the Value Added Technology Information Service (VATIS) in the areas of ozone layer protection, waste technology, biotechnology, food processing and non-conventional energy were disseminated to 4,700 subscribers in 26 countries. Quarterly updates of international technology offers and business opportunities in 15 industrial sectors were also issued regularly to subscribers in 20 countries. The publications are translated into several other languages to enhance their outreach in the region. Several other publications were available in areas of interest to the Centre's target group.
8. The Technology Bureau for Small Enterprises (TBSE), a joint venture of APCTT and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), continued to offer under one roof a synergy of technology and finance. By the end of 1998, the Bureau had serviced 3,027 technology transfer inquiries from small enterprises, facilitated 10 technical collaboration agreements, signed memorandums of understanding with 40 enterprises and helped 54 small enterprises in identifying indigenous technologies. TBSE has also networked with several similar enterprises overseas to facilitate the process of collaboration.
9. In 1998, the technology management programme of APCTT focused on technological capacity-building and human resources development in view of the dynamic technological climate created by the emergence of new technologies and rapid technological change affecting the competitiveness of SMEs. To strengthen research and development (R and D) community-enterprise cooperation, APCTT organized national and regional training programmes in specialized fields such as innovation management, technology acquisition and marketing, technology evaluation and pricing and technology assessment. To promote the transfer and utilization of regional technologies, APCTT also organized specific TCDC international workshops in the areas of food processing, leather, pulp and paper, herbal drugs, surface engineering and coatings, among others.
10. APCTT also concentrated on developing methodologies for comprehensive technology assessment (TA) and mechanisms to strengthen technology monitoring, forecasting and assessment capabilities from the environmental and socio-economic points of view for sustainable development. In that connection several regional and national workshops and training courses were organized.
11. In cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Centre for Science and High Technology in Italy, a training programme on technology management for SMEs was evolved for strengthening their capabilities to acquire, assimilate and upgrade technology. The first training course to evaluate the lecture material was organized for SMEs in mid-1998. Member countries have requested that similar training courses be organized in their countries.
12. APCTT's efforts to facilitate more effective participation of women in the field of technology were directed to women's groups at the grass-roots level and individual entrepreneurs at the micro, small and medium-scale of production. In 1998, APCTT carried out a range of development activities like the facilitation of technical training and exposure programmes, promotion of technology exchange among women's organizations and the dissemination of technical information material. Some of the highlights in that area were planning, formulation and realization of a two-year project on the establishment of a boat-building training centre for fisherwomen in India, hands-on technical training in food processing for women's groups from Nepal, the Philippines and Viet Nam, and documentation of good practices in micro-credit for women.
13. To strengthen the institutional framework of the Centre, APCTT enhanced networking with ESCAP, other United Nations agencies and national and international organizations in areas of concern and also implemented joint programmes.
14. In view of the growth in the Centre's operations, office space was increased within the existing premises. Additional working areas were provided for the new Information Centre and the Technology Bureau for Small Enterprises. As no further office space could now be made available, a request was made to the Government of India for building an additional floor.
15. To strengthen its financial base, APCTT continued to render services in the area of technology transfer for a fee. Those services included the following: (a) search and matching of technology information leading to cooperation agreements; (b) response to queries on technology information; (c) assistance in market studies, technology assessment, project financing and marketing; (d) conducting training seminars and needs assessment studies; (e) organizing technology transfer-related exhibitions; (f) membership of the Information Centre; (g) membership of INTET; and (h) services for the implementation of projects. Subscriptions, advertisements and sponsorships have been secured to meet the cost of editing, printing and dissemination of APCTT periodicals.
16. The success of the Centre's operations was to a large extent due to the excellent cooperation received from member countries and partner institutions and to the availability of a ready flow of funds. The Government of Germany provided generous funds for both programme and institutional support. The Government of the Netherlands had provided financial support for specific programme activities. The Government of India continued to provide institutional support and host facilities. Fourteen countries were contributing towards the institutional support of the Centre. To raise the level of institutional support, the members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Governing Board of 1998 urged the member countries to provide institutional support at the indicative levels agreed on in 1997, US$ 5,000 (least developed countries) and US$ 20,000 (developing countries).
17. To meet the requirements of its enhanced activities, the personnel infrastructure of the Centre was strengthened. The post of one Professional staff member was financed partly through institutional support and partly through project funds. APCTT availed itself of the services of two new associate experts from the Netherlands and Germany placed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, New York. The Centre applied for two more associate/non-reimbursable loan experts in the areas of hazardous waste management and women's entrepreneurship development. In addition, the Centre used regularly the services of consultants, resource persons and specialists for the implementation of specific activities and programmes.
18. The Governing Board urged the Centre to continue to provide fee-based services to the member countries, the income of which could be used for institutional support. The Centre was also advised to build up an endowment fund by seeking interest-free loans from the member countries. It was proposed that member countries should provide annually over a period of five years US$ 5,000 (least developed countries) and US$ 20,000 (developing countries). That amount would be in addition to the institutional support. It was suggested that the Centre make every effort to solicit contributions for the institutional cost from those countries which have not provided contributions in the past as well.
19. The Commission may wish to consider and endorse the annexed report of the Governing Board and provide guidance on the work of APCTT, particularly with regard to its recommendations. The Commission may wish to impress upon member countries the need to assign experts to work at APCTT on a non-reimbursable loan basis.
20. The Commission may wish to note that, in accordance with article 9 of the Statute of APCTT, the election of member countries to the Governing Board of APCTT for the period 1999-2002 will have to be conducted during the fifty-fifth session of the Commission. The procedure for the election will be communicated to the representatives at that time. The election will be held during one of the plenary meetings of the ministerial segment. Member countries wishing to serve on the Governing Board may inform the secretariat of their intention well ahead of time.
21. The Commission may note that a review of the Centre's work and a planning workshop would take place in February 1999, which would elaborate on the Governing Board's directives as far as substantive activities were concerned and would develop a work programme matrix for future years.
REPORT OF THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY ON ITS THIRTEENTH SESSION
(26 and 27 November 1998, Manila)(1)
I. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONSIDERATION AND ADOPTION BY THE COMMISSION
1. The APCTT work plan as proposed by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for 1999 was endorsed by the Governing Board. The following recommendations were made with regard to institutional arrangements:
(a) The placement of experts on non-reimbursable loan at the Centre, and particularly from Bangladesh, to be pursued;
(b) Focal points to be continuously updated on the programmes, activities and information services of APCTT;
(c) Member countries to provide institutional support at the indicative levels agreed to at the twelfth session of the Governing Board in 1997. Those countries that were already contributing at the required level were requested to consider enhancing their contributions to enable APCTT to increase its activities and programmes of interest to the member countries;
(d) To build up the agreed upon Endowment Fund as an interest-free loan to the Centre, the Board proposed that member countries provide annually over a period of five years US$ 5,000 (least developed countries) and US$ 20,000 (developing countries). That was in addition to the institutional support;
(e) Membership from new countries to be solicited;
(f) Specific measures to be taken to enhance income-generating services.
II. SUMMARY OF THE DELIBERATIONS
2. The Board had before it the following two documents: (a) Report of the activities of the Centre (December 1997-November 1998) (agenda item 4); and (b) Report of the Technical Advisory Committee of APCTT on its fourteenth meeting (agenda item 5).
A. Report of the activities of APCTT during the period from November 1997 to November 1998 and presentation of the programme of work
(Agenda item 4)
3. Introducing agenda item 4 on the report of the activities of the Centre, the Director said that the document entitled "Report on the activities of APCTT (December 1997-November 1998)" would give a broad idea of the Centre's core programme and, in particular, the specific activities in the year 1998.
4. The Technical Advisory Committee of APCTT, at its recently concluded fourteenth meeting (24 and 25 November 1998, Manila), had tracked the annual progress of APCTT and set benchmarks for its future growth. In addition, the Committee had identified new activities that could be undertaken by APCTT to extend the scale and scope of its cooperation with the member countries. The Chairman of the Committee would later brief the members of the Board about the highlights and recommendations of the meeting.
5. The Director then briefed the representatives about the efforts made to strengthen the institutional framework, the financial base and the personnel infrastructure of APCTT and new initiatives taken to enhance the scope of its work.
6. APCTT had worked closely with ESCAP and other United Nations agencies in organizing several joint programmes to maximize available resources and expertise. Efforts had also been made to enhance working relationships with national and international organizations. Sixteen countries of the region were participating actively in the Centre's programmes. Some other countries, namely the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Turkmenistan, had expressed their interest in cooperating with the Centre.
7. The Director then elaborated on the value-added services being provided by the new Information Centre through the electronic media. The Centre's Web site had greatly enhanced the outreach of the Centre and the Internet user could obtain regularly updated information on APCTT, its technology transfer services, development activities, consultancy services and selected environmentally sound technology (EST) opportunities. APCTT was working on the development of a full-scale, value-added, Internet-based EST information service. The work was expected to be completed in early 1999. The Centre was well connected to technology networks in developed and developing countries for the exchange of information.
8. The Centre's operations were growing and with that growth, there was the demand for more office space. Within the existing floor space, a new environment had been provided for the Information Centre and the Technology Bureau for Small Enterprises. A request had also been made to the Government of India for building an additional floor.
9. To strengthen the financial base of the Centre, the Director said that several initiatives had been taken. The Centre continued to render services in the area of technology transfer for a fee. Those services included:
(a) Searching and matching of technology information leading to cooperation agreements;
(b) Response to queries on technology information;
(c) Assistance in market studies, technology assessment, project financing and marketing;
(d) Conducting training seminars and needs assessment studies;
(e) Renting the exhibition area;
(f) Membership of the International Network for Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (INTET);
(g) Membership of the Information Centre.
10. To increase the level of institutional support, the Director said that the Committee and Board members of 1997 had agreed on raising the indicative levels for institutional support from the member countries from US$ 1,000 to US$ 5,000 (least developed countries) and US$ 15,000 to US$ 20,000 (developing countries).
11. In the Centre's drive to increase programme funding support and operational viability, the Director said that it was constantly seeking donor support for projects. He informed the Board that APCTT had been selected by international donors as the implementing agency for the following projects:
(a) Subregional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes - 1999-2001;
(b) Strengthening the Technology Bureau for International Industrial Partnership (Investment and Technology Promotion Initiative - ITPI - Phase II) - 1999-2000;
(c) Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Parks (STEPS) and Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) - 1999-2002.
12. Several other project proposals had been prepared by APCTT and sent to ESCAP to be submitted to donors. Two other projects were shortlisted by prospective donors for possible funding in 1999.
13. The periodicals and publications of the Centre were brought out on a sustainable and demand-driven basis. Advertising and sponsorships were meeting the costs of editing, printing and disseminating the periodicals.
14. On the personnel front, the Board was informed that the financial contribution from the Government of Germany continued to fund the post of the Director. The post of one Professional staff member was financed partly through institutional support and partly through project funds. APCTT availed itself of the services of two new associate experts from the Netherlands and Germany placed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, New York. The Centre had applied for two more associate/non-reimbursable loan experts in the areas of hazardous waste management and women's entrepreneurship development. In addition, the Centre was using regularly the services of many consultants, resource persons and specialists. To upgrade and enhance the skills of the staff of the Centre, the staff were provided with on-the-job training and encouraged to attend staff development courses relevant to their work.
15. The Board was informed that the timely inputs provided by TAC as well as the discussions and suggestions made during the session of the Governing Board would be further taken up at the Replanning Workshop scheduled to be held in February 1999 to evolve a new planning matrix for APCTT. In that context, the objective of the Workshop was to prioritize the activities, taking into consideration the availability of resources and the support made available by the member countries for organizing programmes.
16. In order to monitor and assess the impact of the activities of APCTT, evaluation events were periodically organized, taking into account the indicators (benchmarks) developed.
17. The Director expressed his gratitude to all the member countries for the institutional support provided to the Centre and for the excellent cooperation received. He thanked the Government of India for the generous host facilities provided to the Centre. The programme support received from the Governments of Germany and the Netherlands had enabled the Centre to carry out its activities.
18. The Board thanked the Director for presenting the activities of the Centre in 1998 and commended the work done in the main thrust areas. It also directed the Centre to continue to strengthen its work in assisting the member countries, taking into account the wide-ranging priorities of the region and the need to optimize the use of the Centre's resources. In that regard, the planning of the Centre's work programme for 1999 should reflect that concern.
B. Report of the Technical Advisory Committee on its fourteenth meeting
(Agenda item 5)
19. The Chairperson of TAC presented the highlights of the Committee's report on its fourteenth meeting, held on 24 and 25 November 1998 at Manila. That meeting was attended by representatives of 11 countries, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam and representatives of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and ESCAP.
20. The Committee commended the Centre's programmes relating to the promotion of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs); promotion of technology information and utilization; technology management; and the participation of women in the field of technology. It noted with satisfaction the initiatives taken by APCTT to facilitate technological flows in the region and to serve as a catalytic link between suppliers and users of technology. Furthermore, the Centre's efforts to strengthen its database on ESTs, experts and institutions were appreciated as well as the links being established with international technology networks and institutions involved in the transfer of ESTs. Especially noteworthy were the numerous technology transfer-related events organized in 14 countries of the region in cooperation with 54 partner institutions. The Committee had also noted with interest that more than 750 business meetings and over 3,500 technology transfer negotiations were facilitated in 1998. The Committee had expressed appreciation for the specific technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC) international workshops organized in such sectors as food processing, leather, pulp and paper, herbal drugs and others. The Centre had also been evolving mechanisms to strengthen technology management tools and practices through technology evaluation and assessment training courses. Over and above that, APCTT had carried out in 1998 a host of development activities related to technical training and exposure programmes; promotion of technology exchange among women's organizations and the dissemination of technical information material facilitating more effective participation of women in the field of technology.
21. Against that backdrop, the Director reviewed the main recommendations of TAC on future activities itemized against the four thrust areas of the Centre's work programme:
Promotion of environmentally sound technologies
ESCAP/APCTT/Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST) Regional Workshop on the Application of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 and ISO 14000 (Islamic Republic of Iran);
Regional Workshop for Assessment of Technologies in Power Plants (Islamic Republic of Iran);
Workshop on Utilization of Vegetable Oil as a Renewable Energy Source (Nepal);
Assistance in the preparation of national studies related to stimulating EST transfer and the sharing of experiences in that field with other countries of the region (Bangladesh/Nepal);
Training programmes on transfer of ESTs to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (Bangladesh/Nepal).
Technology information and utilization
To assist IROST and BCSIR in establishing a technology transfer data bank, including staff training;
To assist IROST in the preparation of a project proposal aimed at the establishment of a technology data bank for the Central Asian republics and Persian Gulf countries;
To further support IROST to publish the Asia Pacific Tech Monitor for Central Asian and Persian Gulf countries;
To organize a regional workshop on the importance of planning a science and technology data bank and information network (Islamic Development Bank/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/APCTT/IROST);
To organize SME-oriented training programmes focused on post-harvest, textile, metalworking, electronics, food-processing, plastics, iron and steel, and jewellery technologies in Thailand;
To assist the Technology Transfer Centre, Thailand to strengthen its technology transfer database through training and information exchange;
To assist Thailand in disseminating the Thai-built machinery database among APCTT members;
To strengthen focal points through empowering them in the commercialization of technology and information services.
To continue activities and workshops under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) umbrella programme (India);
To implement the proposed technology management subprogramme on strengthening technology parks/incubators (India);
To organize regional training workshops on valuation of innovations from the research and development (R and D) sector (Islamic Republic of Iran);
To promote commercialization of technologies through the effective diffusion of transferable technologies;
To organize training of trainers in selected sectors of technical and consultancy services for industry (Philippines);
To assist Bangladesh in organizing a workshop on commercialization of R and D results, workshops on food, leather and pulp and paper industries and an expert group meeting on wastewater management, including municipal waste, in 1999;
To organize events to facilitate the transfer of food-processing technology, biotechnology, information technology and renewable energy technology. The assistance could be provided by APCTT in the form of training, seminars and workshops. The Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) would provide the necessary local support for those activities in Bangladesh;
To organize an ESCAP/APCTT/IROST Regional Workshop on Cooperation for the Development and Commercialization of ESTs (Islamic Republic of Iran);
To organize a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (India)/APCTT/IROST regional workshop on processing of medicinal plants (Extraction, purification, analysis, formulation and production of phytodrugs) - Islamic Republic of Iran;
To organize a department of science and technology (India)/IROST/APCTT regional workshop on the latest application of biotechnology for agricultural development and biodegradation (Islamic Republic of Iran);
To conduct workshops on the importance of intellectual property rights in strengthening technology transfer and investment activities (Philippines/Bangladesh);
To evolve a programme in cooperation with IROST, the Islamic Development Bank and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to support technology development and commercialization in Asia and the Pacific (Islamic Republic of Iran);
To organize a regional workshop on enhancing research productivity through the adoption of good research management practices (Malaysia);
To organize Training for Trainers: a training course on technology management (Thailand).
Encouragement of more effective participation of women in technology
To assist concerned organizations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand and Viet Nam to implement technology promotion activities for women, in particular, and to disseminate appropriate technology information to rural women;
To facilitate the participation of women entrepreneurs in international trade fairs and technology exhibitions;
To assist non-governmental organizations and government-funded organizations in the implementation of women's entrepreneurship.
22. On the basis of the recommendations, the Chairperson said that APCTT had been presented with some important milestones to meet the growing needs and demands of its members in their quest for technological self-reliance. He urged the member countries to make every effort to assist the Centre to implement the proposed programmes through increased cooperation, enhanced coordination and on a cost-sharing basis.
23. The Board deliberated on the recommendations of TAC at its fourteenth meeting and endorsed the report.
Statement by the host country
24. The representative of India made a statement on behalf of his Government, the host country of the Centre. He stated that ever since the inception of APCTT, his Government had been closely associated with the Centre, and had provided host country facilities. He further stated that his Government had been providing institutional support of US$ 100,000 per year, and expressed satisfaction that the Centre had increased its activities manifold. He expressed his appreciation for the initiatives taken by the Director of APCTT to reorient the Centre's activities on practical lines. His Government had been the largest donor of institutional support so far and, with a view to ensuring the sustainability of the Centre, he urged other member countries to make institutional contributions in accordance with the prescribed levels. His Ministry was willing to organize a workshop jointly with APCTT on enhancing skills on technology acquisition. He reiterated that the Government of India would continue to extend support to APCTT.
C. Date and venue of the fourteenth session of the Governing Board
(Agenda item 6)
25. In addition to the earlier offers made by the Islamic Republic of Iran and Sri Lanka, the Board appreciated the offer of the representative of Bangladesh to consider hosting the fourteenth session of the Governing Board of APCTT in late November or early December 1999.
D. Other matters
(Agenda item 7)
Discussion on environmental technology assessment issues
26. It was mentioned by the Director of the Industry and Technology Division, ESCAP that during the first session of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Development, as well as at the Workshop on Regional Cooperative Policy Mechanism (RCPM) to Promote the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs), that a specific recommendation was put forward to establish a RCPM that would be coordinated by APCTT initially. The RCPM would not only facilitate the transfer of ESTs within the framework of chapter 34 of Agenda 21, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held at Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, but would also promote the development and utilization of environmental technology assessment (ETA) and related indigenous capacity-building measures to assist SMEs.
27. The representative of the UNIDO Country Office of the Philippines and the Pacific said that the initiative of ESCAP/APCTT was timely, and suggested that ETA services could also be provided in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/UNIDO national cleaner production centres that were created to assist SMEs. To facilitate that endeavour, it was mentioned that a panel of experts consisting of eminent practitioners would be constituted to advise on the specific proposals pertaining to ETA. Further initiatives in that regard would include the establishment of a roster of consultants for undertaking the preliminary evaluation of ESTs suitable for SMEs in identified sectors and extending technical consultancy and advisory assistance in the assessment and adoption of appropriate ESTs by SMEs. The member countries appreciated the initiative taken by APCTT and ESCAP in that direction and suggested selected priority sectors, among them dyes and chemicals, leather, pulp and paper, rubber and plastics, for undertaking programmes related to ETA. The focal points of the member countries suggested that the priority sectors as well as the training programmes should be organized in consultation with industrial associations and other relevant agencies. In order to facilitate initial operation of the ETA machinery, they preliminarily indicated some areas mentioned above. Specific sectors would be finalized in consultation with member countries.
Election to the Governing Board of APCTT in April 1999
28. The members of the Governing Board were informed that an election to the Governing Board for the period 1999-2002 would be held at the fifty-fifth session of the Commission at Bangkok in April 1999. The members were requested to bring that to the notice of the concerned Ministry of their respective governments in order to propose nominations for the Governing Board of APCTT during the session of the Commission.
29. The Board adopted the present report on 27 November 1998.
1. * Section III (Organization of the session) does not appear in this annex, which includes only the substantive sections of the report.