Dubai to leverage best practices to upgrade SME sector

DUBAI - The Department of Economic Development (DED) participated in the 48th annual World Conference, organised by the International Council for Small Business recently in Belfast as part of its move to leverage international best practices related to small and medium enterprises.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 5 Aug 2003, 12:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 7:45 PM

The DED aims to use the experience to further develop and enhance the SME sector in the emirate.

The conference attracted a total of 1,139 registrations from 80 countries around the globe. In addition to 20 VIP plenary speakers, there were 351 technical papers presented in a total of 103 mini-conference and workshop sessions across three venues.

"The global significance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as a mechanism for economic growth and development has been rising steadily in recent times especially in view of the fact that SMEs make up 90 per cent of the business sector worldwide," said Tariq Helal Lootah, Head of Business Development at DED and one of the participants at the Belfast conference. "Recent studies also suggest that more than 60 per cent of future employment opportunities will be created by the SME sector. There is thus an imperative need to enhance and upgrade the activities of the SMEs in Dubai in order to ensure that the emirate can maximize its benefit from this sector," he added.

"This conference provided us with an opportunity to network with delegates from various countries and explore the best practices that have been established to develop the SMEs in their countries," continued Mr. Lootah. "We aim to study these initiatives and the feasibility of adapting some of them to the specific business situation in Dubai in order to further develop this sector."

"Global economic trends point to the considerable importance of SME development and its significant contribution to a country's GDP," said Mr. Fareed Al Abdullah, Economic Researcher Small and Medium Enterprises Development Section, DED and another participant at the conference. "Dubai has been one of the pioneers in the region with regard to SME development and already has several initiatives including Intalaq, Tommooh and Sheikh Mohammed Establishment for Young Business Entrepreneurs, which support and encourage the national entrepreneur. However, we need to develop this sector further and look forward to building on our present expertise and knowledge by our interaction with experts from around the world," he added.

The International Council for Small Business is the leading global membership organisation for those interested in the theory and practice of entrepreneurship and the formation and development of small business. Established in 1955, it was the first international organisation in this field.

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