Banks gave small and medium-sized enterprises $25.4 billion in Q1 this year
UAE banks gave SMEs 4.3% more in loans in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019, according to statistics by the Central Bank of the UAE.
The banks gave small and medium-sized enterprises AED93.4 billion ($25.4 billion) in the first quarter of this year compared to AED89.5bn in the fourth quarter of last year.
The loans made up nearly 8.1% of the total cumulative balance of credit facilities given to all private-sector economic and commercial activities in Q1 2020, accounting for AED1.149 trillion, according to the data revealed by Emirates news agency WAM.
The announcement comes as the UAE set up a committee to draft a national strategy to provide financing for SMEs during challenging Covid-19 times. It includes representatives of the Central Bank of the UAE, the Ministries of Economy, Finance, Youth Affairs and Justice, as well as the UAE Banks Federation, the Emirates Development Bank, the Al Etihad Credit Bureau, SME development funds, the Khalifa Fund, and Dubai SME.
SMEs represent over 94% of all companies operating in the UAE, with 73% working in the wholesale and retail sector, 16% in the services sector, and 11% in the industry sector, according to data from the Ministry of Economy.
The 350,000 companies, which make up over 60% of GDP, employ over 86% of the labour force in the private sector.