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Women Entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific Region

Hear from U.S. Trade Representative official Myesha Ward about ways the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is working to highlight women entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific Region.

In an effort to galvanize the Asia-Pacific region to unleash the potential of women as entrepreneurs and business leaders, the first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women's Entrepreneurship Summit was held on October 1, 2010, in Gifu, Japan. The Summit was co-organized by the Governments of Japan and the United States. Mary Estelle Ryckman, the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR’s) Senior Policy Advisor for Trade and Development and Women’s Issues, joined other Administration officials and women entrepreneurs from APEC’s 21 member economies at the Summit.

Mary Estelle, sat on a panel that discussed ways to increase women’s participation and how they gain access to markets. Joining her in the Access to Markets session was Ms. Minja Lee (Korea) and Ms. Naoko Banno (Japan). Both women import products from the United States. Ms. Lee imports cosmetics and is successful because of reliable suppliers in the United States. Ms. Banno imports nail polish and other items for her retail outlets in Japan, and for her store in China. Both women travel to the United States for trade shows, and say the internet is key to finding the products they need to be successful women entrepreneurs.

To learn more about the Obama Administration’s involvemt with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women's Entrepreneurship Summit palease read Tina Tchen’s post, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation holds first Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit and visit the Summit’s website at

Myesha Ward is the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement office