By Parag Deulgaonkar
New agreement will offer more opportunities to businesses
Dubai is helping its small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become e-competent with government agency Dubai SME and Souq.com joining hands to offer e-commerce capability.
The Dubai Economy entity, mandated to develop the SME sector, on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Souq.com to provide its registered SMEs with integrated e-commerce solutions, comprising online product display, e-payment, product delivery and logistics support.
This month, the US e-commerce retailer Amazon.com completed its $580 million (AED2.13 billion) acquisition of Souq.com.
SMEs make up 90 percent of registered companies in the UAE. Whilst the sector has been facing the impact of economic slowdown for the past two years, UAE Banks Federation launched an initiative in 2016 to help SMEs restructure nearly $1.90 billion (AED7b) of loans.
Abdul Basset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME, said the new tie up with Souq.com will open up new opportunities for SMEs.
“Dubai SME plays a vital role in promoting entrepreneurship and encouraging innovative ideas among the youth, motivating them to engage in economic activity and launching initiatives that help them grow. The partnership with Souq.com now will provide more opportunities for our member SMEs and open up new markets for them to achieve sustainability and competitiveness,” he said.
E-commerce is one of the fastest growing sectors, particularly in the UAE, with Cairo-based Arab Federation for e-Commerce expecting the MENA region’s e-commerce to grow from $20 billion in 2017 to $200 billion beyond 2020.
“We are trying to eliminate barriers and challenges facing members and enhance productivity through creating partnerships with government and private sector entities,” Al Janahi said.
The registration process for the new initiative will commence shortly, followed by workshops on launching products online and the support services, Dubai SME said. It will also collect monthly reports and statistics and the best ten in terms of the most sold products will be identified every month.