SME law aims to encourage local businesses

Minister of Economy hopes new legal framework for SMEs means more Emiratis will start businesses
SME law aims to encourage local businesses
Sultan Saeed Al Mansoori/ Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri
By Neil King
Tue 24 Sep 2013 01:52 PM

The UAE’s Minister of Economy, Sultan Saeed Al Mansoori, has expressed his hopes for the nation’s small and medium sized enterprises as a new law for SMEs nears final approval by the cabinet.

Speaking at the Fourth UAE Conference of SME and Innovation Al Mansoori told of his confidence in the future of SMEs after the implementation of the Small and Medium Enterprises Law, which was recently approved by the Federal National Council and is expected to receive final clearance from the UAE Cabinet soon.

He said: “The reason why we work very hard toward finalising this (law) is that this sector needs to be organised in a way that will give it a much better push towards hopefully participating more into the GDP of the UAE.

“Currently it’s around 60 percent. We’d like to see it higher.”

The law is expected to ensure increased government support to SMEs, and encourage Emiratis to start and run SMEs, with one provision drafted into the law requiring government institutions to allot ten percent of their procurements to SMEs.

The country’s 300,000 SMES represents almost 92 percent of all companies in the UAE, providing 86 percent of all private sector employment.

Al Mansoori added: “The UAE is today the centre of growth and business in the region due to the establishment of world-class infrastructure and the country has been maintaining a positive growth environment for national and international companies.

“The UAE government has adopted the policy of creating a knowledge based economy which requires us to put in focused efforts in the development of small and medium enterprises.

“This law is an important step forward in the efforts to encourage citizens to enter the private sector through enterprises of their own, enabling them to achieve success through creativity and innovation. It is now possible for them to benefit from the provisions of the law to ensure the success of their projects.”

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