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Supporting SMES a top priority: Al Falasi

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 12, 2020
The SME sector makes up for about 90 per cent of companies in the world.

(Reuters)

Supporting the SME sector, which is the backbone of the UAE economy, is a top priority, said the newly appointed Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi.

The minister said that ensuring the growth of the national economy is at the top of the agenda of his ministry. 

"The Government of the UAE seeks to continuously enhance the competitiveness of the business environment in the country and introduce various programs and policies that contribute to maintaining the advanced position of the country globally. As a result, the UAE has been ranked fifth globally in entrepreneurship according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) index," said Dr Al Falasi.

In the UAE, the SME sector represents more than 98 per cent of the total number of companies operating and accounts for 52 per cent of the non-oil GDP.

During a meeting with local entrepreneurs from across the UAE and representatives of institutions and SMEs incubators, Dr. Al Falasi said the business ecosystem is currently focused on adopting tangible measures to find practical solutions to all challenges related to entrepreneurship and strengthening mechanisms for its stability and prosperity across the country's various vital sectors, he said.

The meeting, attended by Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Sanad Al Meqbali, chairman of the Board of the Emirati Entrepreneurs Association; and Ibrahim Shahin, vice president of the Emirati Entrepreneurs Association, discussed the demands of local entrepreneurs, representatives of institutions and SMEs incubators.

Dr Al Falasi noted that SMEs represent the backbone of the global economy and serve as a flexible tool for governments to support their economies. The sector makes up for about 90 per cent of companies in the world, and in some developed countries such as South Korea and Japan, its contribution reaches up to 99 per cent.  

The meeting also reviewed the Ministry's vision for the next stage in addition to discussing all the solutions that are currently being studied. It discussed various measures to reduce the cost of doing business, diversify financing options and facilitate banking procedures, and ways to expand the scope of incentives and facilities, especially those related to governmental purchases.

"Several measures have been adopted at the federal and local levels to support the sector and increase its contribution to the national economy. SMEs have received a great deal of attention from the UAE and local governments during the past months in light of the Covid-19 crisis in the form of support and economic stimulus packages that have been announced. The Ministry of Economy and its partners will continue to work towards initiating these projects and supporting the capacity and continuity of their activities, which will have a tangible positive impact on the country's SME sector," said Dr Al Falasi. 

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.


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