UAE Ministry of Finance and Dubai SMEs sign deal to support small businesses

The UAE’s Ministry of Finance is partnering with Dubai SME, an agency of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, to support entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses in the country.

The ministry signed a preliminary agreement with Dubai SME – the government agency responsible for developing the SME sector in the emirate – to register small businesses in the Federal Supplier Register. This will allow them to participate in government tenders, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The Ministry of Finance is keen to “support and empower entrepreneurs and pave the way for the contribution of SMEs to the national economy,” said Mariam Al Amiri, Undersecretary of Financial Management Sector of the Ministry of Finance. The ministry has developed policies and procedures to “stimulate the economy and support the business sector in the country,” she said.

The UAE’s SME sector accounted for around 94% of total businesses and employed over 86% of the private sector workforce at the end of 2019, according to data from the Ministry of the Economy. In Dubai, SMEs made up 95 percent of businesses, employed 42 percent of the workforce, and accounted for 40 percent of the emirate’s gross domestic product.

Supporting the SME sector is one of the main priorities at the federal and emirate levels. Dubai launched several initiatives last year to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on small businesses. The federal government has also provided access to financing for small businesses.

Etihad Credit Insurance provided 420 million dirhams ($ 114.3 million) of trade credit to SMEs in the first 11 months of 2020 to help businesses protect their cash flow amid a downturn due to the pandemic. In March, ECI also partnered with the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to strengthen the export capacities of small businesses.

The Dubai SME said it will encourage companies to obtain federal accreditation and exchange data of SME owners with the ministry to ensure effective communication with them.

“SMEs play an essential role in the sustainable development of the national economy … [and] We are committed to building the capacity of these companies and enabling them to be among the foundational components of various industries [of the economy]Saeed Al Marri, Deputy Managing Director of Dubai SME said.

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