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Weak financing opportunities remains an obstacle for SMEs


UAE need to develop the financial infrastructure for small businesses

March 30, 2014 10:16 by

The SME World 2014, a business conference for small- to medium-sized enterprises in the Mena region, took place today (March 26) in Dubai.

“SME lending is still undeveloped in several Mena countries, especially in the GCC region. Weak financial infrastructure remains an obstacle, as do gaps in legal and institutional frameworks. In addition, ineffective policy interventions and lack of well-disseminated private initiatives result in weaker SME financing in the region,” says Roberto Rocha, senior adviser at the World Bank.

“The three pillars of SME financing that need to be stressed upon in the UAE include strengthening the financial infrastructure, designing effective public policy interventions and disseminating innovative private initiatives. Transparent financial and credit reporting and creditor rights improvement are essential to strengthening the financial infrastructure, while the support of state banks, credit guarantee schemes and other interventions are tools that can be used to develop a robust SME finance policy. Equally, increasing the outlay for non-financial services from banks and incorporating new technologies to address SME needs will help to grow private initiatives that benefit SMEs.”

Speaking about the opportunities for SMEs that originate from hosting an expo, Vincenzo Grassi, associate partner at PwC, Italy, and organising committee member of Expo Milano 2015, says: “Through multiplier effects of various kinds, Expo 2015 is activating deeper and long-lasting processes that will help to modernise and innovate the socio-economic, territorial and organisational structures of Italy. The country expects direct, indirect and induced added business value of €18.5 billion from Expo 2015 that will create new jobs, modernise its infrastructure and result in sustainable growth of the economy, besides increasing its long-term tourism potential. The Expo Milano 2015’s internationalisation impact will provide Italian companies a chance to explore and develop growth opportunities in international markets guaranteed by the presence of more than 140 countries, including emerging nations and the BRICS. The expo is providing innovation opportunities to Italian companies, as they launch and test new products and services on a large sample of potential customers. We expect more than 20 million visitors to the Expo 2015 site during the event’s six-month period.”


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