SMEs con­tinue to drive re­gional growth: Re­port

SME employment in the re­gion ex­pected to reach 20 mil­lion by 2020

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Small and Medium-sized En­ter­prises (SMEs) con­tinue to re­in­force their po­si­tion as one of the key pil­lars in the Mid­dle East and North African re­gion’s (MENA) economic land­scape. In a re­cent study pub­lished by BLOOVO Mid­dle East, 90 per cent of the to­tal regis­tered com­pa­nies in MENA are SMEs. Cur­rently in the GCC, SMEs em­ploy ap­prox­i­mately 17 mil­lion peo­ple and fore­casts note that this num­ber is ex­pected to reach 20 mil­lion by 2020 at an annual growth rate of al­most 2.5 per cent. The vast employment pool is a result of the large num­ber of youth in the re­gion’s pop­u­la­tion, 40 per cent of which is below the age of 25.

In line with this, many coun­tries in the GCC have in­cluded the de­vel­op­ment of their re­spec­tive SME seg­ments as part of their longterm ob­jec­tives and national agen­das. To em­pha­size SMEs in­creas­ing im­por­tance to the re­gion, the Stars of Busi­ness Awards was de­vel­oped to pro­vide fur­ther in­cen­tive and rec­og­nize notable com­pa­nies within the sec­tor for their achieve­ments and dis­tin­guished busi­ness prac­tices as key in­flu­encers.

Ori­ent Planet, one of the fastest grow­ing mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sul­tan­cies in the Mid­dle East, has re­cently been rec­og­nized at the Stars of Busi­ness Awards 2016 Me­dia cat­e­gory of the Mid­dle East Stars of Busi­ness Awards. The honor was pre­sented last Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 27 2016, at At­lantis, the Palm, Dubai. This recog­ni­tion was or­ga­nized by CPI Busi­ness in as­so­ci­a­tion with Pre­sent­ing Part­ner National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Strate­gic SME Part­ner Eti­salat.

Ni­dal Abou Zaki, MD, OPG, said: “It is an honor to be rec­og­nized for such an im­por­tant award among notable com­pa­nies within the re­gion. Ori­ent Planet has al­ways tried to cre­ate busi­ness strate­gies that are in line with the goals set forth by the UAE Vi­sion 2021. As SMEs are the back­bone of the re­gional econ­omy, and the UAE in par­tic­u­lar, the pub­lic sec­tor has con­tin­ued to sup­port the growth of this seg­ment in line with its long-term economic agenda. Such ac­co­lades play an ac­tive role in en­hanc­ing and pro­mot­ing SMEs within the coun­try. As for Ori­ent Planet, this will serve as fur­ther en­cour­age­ment as we strive to cre­ate new bench­marks of ex­cel­lence, pur­sue in­no­va­tion and con­tin­u­ously in­still the value of qual­ity man­age­ment across all our projects.”

In the UAE, SMEs ac­count for more than 94 per cent of the com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing and their to­tal num­ber have reached 350,000. They have long been con­sid­ered as the strong­est cat­a­lyst for economic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, in­no­va­tion as they play a vi­tal role in the na­tion’s shift to a knowl­edge-based econ­omy and the pub­lic sec­tor is com­mit­ted to boost SME share in national econ­omy to 70 per cent 2021.

Ac­cord­ing to a World Bank 2015 re­port, the UAE was ranked 58 among 189 coun­tries on the ease-of-do­ing busi­ness. In the Mid­dle East, UAE has been a fron­trun­ner within the re­gion in terms of busi­ness trans­ac­tions. The growth and notable ac­tiv­ity of SMEs have also re­in­forced the UAE’s po­si­tion as an in­ter­na­tional busi­ness arena and a global busi­ness and trad­ing hub.

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