CHAPTER 24

SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES

Article 24.1:  Information Sharing

1.         Each Party shall establish or maintain its own publicly accessible website containing information regarding this Agreement, including:

 (a)       the text of this Agreement, including all Annexes, tariff schedules and product specific rules of origin;

 (b)       a summary of this Agreement; and

 (c)       information designed for SMEs that contains:

 (i)        a description of the provisions in this Agreement that the Party considers to be relevant to SMEs; and

 (ii)       any additional information that the Party considers useful for SMEs interested in benefitting from the opportunities provided by this Agreement.

2.         Each Party shall include in its website links to:

 (a)       the equivalent websites of the other Parties; and

 (b)       the  websites  of  its  government  agencies  and  other  appropriate entities that provide information the Party considers useful to any person interested in trading, investing or doing business in that Party’s territory.

3.         Subject to each Party’s laws and regulations, the information described in paragraph 2(b) may include:

 (a)       customs regulations and procedures;

(b)       regulations and procedures concerning intellectual property rights; (c) technical  regulations,  standards,  and  sanitary  and  phytosanitary

measures relating to importation and exportation; (d)  foreign investment regulations;

(e)       business registration procedures; (f)  employment regulations; and

(g)       taxation information.

When possible, each Party shall endeavour to make the information available in

English.

4.         Each Party shall regularly review the information and links on the website referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 to ensure that such information and links are up- to-date and accurate.

Article 24.2:  Committee on SMEs

1.         The  Parties  hereby  establish  a  Committee  on  SMEs  (Committee), composed of government representatives of each Party.

2.         The Committee shall:

 (a)       identify ways to assist SMEs of the Parties to take advantage of the commercial opportunities under this Agreement;

 (b)       exchange and discuss each Party’s experiences and best practices in supporting and assisting SME exporters with respect to, among other things, training programmes, trade education, trade finance, identifying commercial partners in other Parties and establishing good business credentials;

 (c)       develop and promote seminars, workshops or other activities to inform SMEs of the benefits available to them under this Agreement;

 (d)      explore opportunities for capacity building to assist the Parties in developing and enhancing SME export counselling, assistance and training programmes;

 (e)       recommend additional information that a Party may include on the website referred to in Article 24.1 (Information Sharing);

 (f)       review  and  coordinate  the  Committee’s  work  programme  with those  of  other  committees,  working  groups  and  any  subsidiary body established under this Agreement, as well as those of other relevant international bodies, in order not to duplicate those work programmes   and   to   identify   appropriate   opportunities   for

cooperation to improve the ability of SMEs to engage in trade and investment opportunities provided by this Agreement;

 (g)       facilitate  the  development  of  programmes  to  assist  SMEs  to participate and integrate effectively into the global supply chain;

 (h)       exchange information to assist in monitoring the implementation of this Agreement as it relates to SMEs;

 (i)        submit  a  report  of  its  activities  on  a  regular  basis  and  make appropriate recommendations to the Commission; and

 (j)        consider any other matter pertaining to SMEs as the Committee may decide, including any issues raised by SMEs regarding their ability to benefit from this Agreement.

3.         The Committee shall meet within one year of the date of entry into force of this Agreement, and thereafter as necessary.

4.         The  Committee  may  seek  to  collaborate  with  appropriate  experts  and international donor organisations in carrying out its programmes and activities.

Article 24.3:  Non-Application of Dispute Settlement

No  Party  shall  have  recourse  to  dispute  settlement  under  Chapter  28 (Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.

 

FULL TEXT OF TPP AGREEMENT

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