Mon 04-03-2019 09:26 AM
ABU DHABI, 4th March, 2019 (WAM) -- A UAE newspaper has said that small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, are important for economic and social reasons as they play a major role in the creation of employment as they drive innovation and healthy competition.
"The rapid development of the SME sector in the UAE undoubtedly stands out at international levels," said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Monday, noting that several measures initiated recently to reduce the cost of doing business in the UAE will also help boost activity within the country’s SMEs.
As well highlighted at the 9th UAE Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation by Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE’s progress in accelerating the establishment of a robust SME sector according to highest standards is achieved through building strategic partnerships with developed countries and establishing strong partnerships with the private sector.
Statistics reflect the positive trend. The contribution of the SME sector to the GDP of the country is constantly growing. In 2019, it is estimated at 53 percent, up from about 49 percent, as per the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority’s report.
The federal government is said to be aiming at increasing this rate to around 60 percent by 2021, underscoring the importance of this contribution in supporting the country’s economic diversification.
The objective of the UAE Vision 2021 is to build a diversified competitive economy based on innovation and knowledge led by competent nationals. This objective also aligns with the goals set under the UAE Centennial 2071 for the future development.
Just last week, the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, DFRE, and Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development mandated to develop the SME sector, forged a strategic partnership to drive small business participation in the 2019 Retail Calendar. The initiative was conceived by DFRE, DED and 18 selected industry partners to drive Dubai’s retail value proposition and attract increased resident and consumer shopping spend.
The SME sector is a major component of economic growth. The UAE is already leading the way in attracting and encouraging talent in innovation and 4IR technologies across various sectors. Boosting entrepreneurship and self-employment are among the best ways to boost economy.
"All indications point to the fact the SMEs and entrepreneurship sector form a crucial part of the economic vision adopted by the UAE, serving as a cornerstone of modern economies and a vital engine for its further diversification while strengthening the foundations of being a knowledge economy," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.