According to a worldwide survey, the SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in Saudi Arabia are leading the way is business confidence. The Middle East region also saw the highest confidences levels in the respondents overall.
In Saudi the SMEs are very confident about prospects for economic growth, based on the findings of the recent HSBC conducted survey.
Twenty-one important markets were covered in the survey with over 6,389 businesses involved.
Through this survey, entitled the Global Small Business Confidence Monitor, HSBC is gauging the small business outlook on things like recruitment, plans for capital investment and local economic expansion.
Results show that Saudi respondents are keen to express an intention to invest as well as announce plans for workforce expansion over the coming six-month period due to the projected positive economic conditions.
The twice-yearly survey found that SME confidence levels with regards to future growth in business increased again in emerging economies but decreased throughout the developed markets.
The most notable shifts in the levels of business confidence were found to be in the Middle East and African (MENA) area on a regional basis and in Saudi Arabia on a national basis.
A full 59 percent of SMEa in MENA expect the local economy to grow faster over the next six months, meaning confidence levels are strong and on the rise in that region according to the survey results.
Rising prices for oil have supported the rising confidence levels across the Middle East as the wealth growth is expected to bolster domestic demands as well as private consumption.
In a recent index by the HSBC focusing on Middle East Gulf business confidence results stated that 36 percent of those who responded expected increasing oil prices to have a positive effect on their businesses.
Research uncovered that there will be more SMEs around the world doing business on an international scale, rising from 29 percent to reach 40 percent by 2013. This rise is mainly due to current domestically operating SMEs that have plans to operate internationally by 2013.
International companies in the SME sector are aggressively expanding across borders and 48 percent of those have expansion plans for international divisions within a two-year time period, mainly to drive revenues up.
The falling rate of confidence in developed regions drove down the overall global index. Meanwhile emerging regions saw sustained market growth and a continuation of a positive outlook for the economy in the coming six months.
Within developed markets there were only 12 percent of respondents expecting growth within the local economy in the coming six-month period. Upward recruitment trends and capital spending continues to be stable across the globe, as 33 percent of SMEs within the emerging markets had plans to expand staff compared to only 17 percent in the developing regions. With regards to investment injections, 48 percent of respondents in emerging markets had plans to do so in the next six months while only 27 percent of those in developing markets had such plans.Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News