SME Expo presents opportunities to boost wider market presence
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori tours the SME Exhibition in Abu Dhabi on Monday. - Supplied photo
Small to Medium Enterprise Exhibition, a two-day event, aims to increase the contribution of the SME sector to the national economy and give them a higher market presence in competitive economy, top experts from the industry said.
UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the UAE Small and Medium Enterprises Council Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, who opened the exhibition, said the SME sector is a key pillar in the country's economic vision. The SME sector, he said, is a catalyst for economic diversification and an important source of employment generation in the country.
The event is organised in strategic partnership with funding programmes for young people, entrepreneurs and SMEs across the country.
Dr Adeeb Alafeefi, director, National Programme for SMEs and Projects, said the event is part of the UAE government's strategic efforts to increase the contribution of the SME sector to the national economy.
"The current share of the sector to the country's gross domestic product in 2018 is estimated to be at about 49 per cent. The exhibition will boost national efforts aimed at raising contributions to 60 per cent by 2021, in line with the objectives of the national agenda."
He noted the UAE has been recognised regionally and globally to quickly build and develop the SME sector. "It is ranked first in the Arab world and seventh globally on the Global Entrepreneurial Spirit Index. We aim to develop blueprints to provide expertise, technical support as well as training to boost SMEs. The programme aims to empower the small and medium-sized national entrepreneurs, and the SME Expo will provide a platform for these entrepreneurs to meet leading industry experts and collaborate with each other."
The expo seeks to support and encourage Emirati entrepreneurs including the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Foundation 'Ruwad', Saud Bin Saqr Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises and Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla Programme for Supporting Youth Enterprises.
Vince Cook, CEO, National Bank of Fujairah and headline sponsor of the expo said the SMEs play a key role in driving economic growth through innovation.
"We support entrepreneurs to innovate solutions that will drive customer satisfaction, convenience and ultimately, business growth. In a shifting economy, we continue to offer more than just our financial support, but our expert counsel in helping SMEs overcome any external challenges they are faced with."
There are lots of seminars and talks being held at the expo that concludes on Tuesday at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. - firstname.lastname@example.org