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KT edit: Support SMEs

Filed on October 28, 2020
Workers making crafts as dolls in various shapes in a shop.

(Pacific Press Media Production Corp. / Alamy Stock Photo)

The launch of Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market would help young businesses and SMEs in raising credit through the initial public offerings.

It is often the small and medium enterprises that make a thriving ecosystem in any country. The SME sector is dubbed the lifeblood of an economy. Even in the UAE, almost 94 per cent of the companies operating are classified under this segment, providing jobs to more than 86 per cent of the private sector’s workforce. Despite such a substantial impact on an economy, the SMEs are largely marginalised. Many face harsh existence. They grapple with finance and expertise, and get affected even by the little ripples caused by a crisis, political or economic mishap, or a natural calamity. Lack of safety nets, no easy access to industrial credit spell doom for a number of them. The goodwill of individuals helps in sourcing credit for the running of business or expansion needs, but needless to say, it doesn’t come cheap and risks souring of relationships. The launch of Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market would help young businesses and SMEs in raising credit through the initial public offerings.

The fact that Growth Market will be open to listing of companies from anywhere in the world should potentially expand the reach and depth of the bourse. Besides, the sheer prospect of an opportunity available to list and get access to credit should encourage SMEs in the UAE to tidy up their books and put efforts to meet the listing criteria. Governance issues will be sorted once firms aim to get listed. The equity markets in Dubai, however, lack the depth and volume present in other emerging markets. But steps such as these should help in the long run in shoring up interest. A thriving SME sector can fuel economy growth, generate more employment, and can work as collaborators for bigger international firms when they choose to make a foray into the country. The benefits are immense. SMEs should be supported.





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