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Small businesses positive about future

Small businesses positive about future

Small businesses in Saudi Arabia are expecting a rise in capital expenditure, despite the global economic downturn, according to an HSBC survey.

September 7, 2009 12:07 by

A new HSBC survey, “Emerging Markets Small Business Confidence Monitor,” shows 39 percent of Saudi businesses with a turnover of less than $30 million expect to increase capital expenditure in 2009 while only 19 percent believe investment in their companies will slow down.

The Kingdom’s entrepreneurs are even more optimistic about trade outlook. About 57 percent believe trade with the rest of the Middle East will expand by up to a fifth or more. Some 80 percent predict increased business with mainland China, with more than half of them anticipating growth of more than 20 percent. Two thirds of respondents are forecasting a rise in trade with the rest of Asia. And optimists outweigh pessimists about trade prospects with the US, Europe, Latin America and the rest of the world.

Regarding recruitment, owners and top management of the Kingdom’s small businesses have the most ambitious plans of any of the 12 emerging markets surveyed with 40 percent expecting to need to increase their workforces and with one in eight seeking to grow their staff by more than 20 percent.

“Overall, the leaders of Saudi Arabia’s smaller business sector – the vital fuel of every country’s economy – are more positive about the short term outlook than their counterparts in almost all other emerging markets surveyed,” Adel al-Nasser, deputy managing director, SABB, said.

Arab News

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