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SMEs Contributed 60% to UAE GDP in 2011

Middle East : 24 August 2012

Source: Gulf News

Dubai: The contribution of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the UAE gross domestic product (GDP) doubled at 60 per cent in 2011, according to the Ministry of Economy.

A report developed by Gulf Capital showed that the figures represent 100 per cent increase in comparison to 2010 result as SMEs have become a vital cog to the growth of the UAE economy.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade economic bulletin reported that the SME sector in the UAE contributed 30 per cent of the GDP.

Gulf Capital , one of the largest and most active alternative investment firms in the Middle East, which recently launched a $300 million (Dh1.1 billion Credit and Mezzanine Fund to meet the financing needs of fast growing companies in the Middle East and Turkey, signed up as headline sponsor of SMEinfo Awards as part of its strategy to support top performing SMEs.

Recognising the invaluable economic input of businesses in the SME sector, the Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards seek to honour the top performing SMEs whose outstanding business performance and innovations have contributed to the growth and robustness of the UAE economy.

Mohammad Saleh Shelwah, Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Policy Affairs, told Gulf News: “Since the SME sector’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP is very high, the new forthcoming SMEs law has been developed to boost economic output and to reduce the unemployment pressure in the private sector as it creates a lot of job opportunities.”

The SME sector is the biggest employer in the country.

“SMEs are the backbone of economic development and growth, and we should have proper legislation,” he added.

The Ministry of Economy announced earlier that the UAE is drawing a new SMEs law, to be issued by the end of this year, which will strengthen competitiveness of the economy and attract greater investment.

The new law will be issued this year as part of ongoing economic reforms. This is aimed at attracting investment and ensuring sustainable growth by strengthening the non-oil sector and reduce the country’s dependence on volatile oil prices, Shelwah said.

He said that the law will strengthen competitiveness of the national economy and boost the SME sector.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, highlighted Dubai’s participation in developing the SME law which is in its final stage.

He said: “The UAE is already locked in a drive to diversify its economy by attracting investment and encouraging industrial projects, and SMEs are seen as a key factor in diversification given the country’s limited resources.”

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