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SME PROGRAM IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AND EUROPEAN COMMISSION FUNDED PROJECT REINFORCE COOPERATION

The Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates in cooperation with the EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification project, funded by the Partnership Instrument of the European Commission (EC) held a workshop on the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Abu Dhabi on 19 Nov, 2018.

More than 25 representatives of funding institutions and organizations supporting Emirati entrepreneurs attended the workshop organized by National Programme for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the executive arm of SMEs that operates under the umbrella of the Ministry.

 

The workshop provided an opportunity to present services and facilitation provided by the EU-GCC project, and the national program’s efforts to link 1,650 registered entrepreneurs to the network’s services. The event also identified various types of innovations and suggested how policy-makers can utilize such innovations to benefit SMEs. Moreover, economic diversity and development, support to entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs, and the enhancement of motivation, performance and productivity were issues discussed as to create a conducive environment for economic growth. The workshop was the first of its kind as a result of the economic dialogue between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is facilitated by GFA Consulting Group.

 

The GCC is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Adib Al Afifi, Director of the national SME program, remarked that creating joint development mechanisms and programs with the European network will support the program’s efforts to assist Emirati entrepreneurs, connect them to international markets, and explore the best relevant practices. He added that the network offers a wide range of services and facilitations, and pointed out that membership to the network has numerous advantages. The latter include the opportunity to communicate with its 11,000 member SMEs and participate in around 7,000 monthly bilateral trade meetings and international exhibitions.
 
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