Expo 2020 has allocated a staggering $1.2 billion (AED 5 billion), which is 20% of its total direct and indirect spend, to Small and Medium Size Enterprises. With this announcement, Expo 2020 confirms the important role local and international SMEs will play leading up to the mega event and after that.
On the occasion of this landmark announcement, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy and chairman of the UAE SME Council, said: “SMEs are already playing a central role in the UAE’s drive towards cultivating a thriving private sector and diversified economy, which makes SME empowerment a strategic priority for the Government.”
“This effort is also aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 to transition to a knowledge-based economy that fosters creativity and innovation.”, he added.
Mr. Al Mansoori also highlighted the role and close coordination between UAE’s local and federal authorities in forging a strong SME sector and providing entrepreneurs and SMEs the support they require to fulfil their role in the economy.
SMEs are already playing a huge role in UAE’s success at the global level. They not only represent 94% of the total companies operating in the country, but also contribute more than 60% of the nation’s GDP. The latest announcement has come as further good news for UAE’s thriving SME sector.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general Bureau Expo Dubai 2020 added: “The integration of SMEs into the delivery of Expo 2020 Dubai is set to continue to stimulate employment, strengthen existing industries, improve SME competitiveness and ultimately contribute to sustainable economic growth. This will be an important part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s legacy for the UAE and wider region.”
Several measures have been taken to further strengthen the role of SMEs in UAE’s economy. The procurement process has been modified to allow SMEs to bid more competitively. SMEs are also no longer required to sign tender bonds and are exempt from advance payment guarantees.
Source: Arabian Business