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    On 16 and 17 October the Commission and the Milan Chamber of
    Commerce jointly organized a conference on the craft trades and
    small business whose theme was "The Business Environment and
    the New Technologies".
    The Commission was represented by Mr Abel Matutes, the Member
    of the Commission responsible for Community policy on SMEs.
    The following resolution was adopted at the end of the
    conference.
    The European Conference on Craft Industries and Small
    Businesses:
        1) Welcomes the adoption by the Commission of the action
           programme for small and medium-sized businesses
           (7 August 1986);
        2) Hopes that all possible resources will be used to put
           into effect the actions described in the programme,
           as concerns both the business environment and greater
           flexibility and access to finance;
        3) Considers that, since small businesses are those most
           handicapped by the non-tariff barriers which have
           persisted in the common market for 30 years, priority
           should be given to eliminating these obstacles to the
           completion of the internal market, and to reducing and
           simplifying administrative, tax and technical procedures
           as much as possible;
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        4) Considers that a special effort will have to be made
           to assist craft industries, including policies :
             a) to promote enterprise and the important role
                of the self-employed entrepreneur;
             b) to educate and inform craftsmen on the new
                technologies so that they are introduced into
                existing businesses;
             c) to encourage young people and the unemployed
                to set up their own craft industry businesses;
             d) to provide training in the new technologies and
                materials as early as the apprentice stage;
             e) to preserve craft skills;
             f) to simplify the procedures for making use of
                and protecting inventions.
        5) Calls on the Community's financial institutions and
           Funds to introduce the kind of specific financing
           measures in favour of small businesses and craft
           industries that are easy to implement and cover the
           whole range of operations from grants and loans to
           special support and venture capital operations;
        6) Welcomes the Commission's plans for providing
           information in the form of a "Community window for small
           businesses";
        7) Addresses this resolution to the Commission, Parliament,
           the Economic and Social Committee and the governement of
the Member States.

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