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Abu Dhabi Forum for SMEs 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The activities of the Abu Dhabi SMEs Forum 2010 started , Tuesday 28th, at Abu Dhabi Fairmont Hotel Bab Al Bahr. The event organized by the Department of Economic Development and Khalifa Fund for Enterprises Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy; with more than 300 participants representing various government entities, private sector institutions and companies. The Speech of Undersecretary H.E Mohammed Omar Abdullah at “ABU DHABI FORUM “Abu Dhabi Forum FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES 2010”  Ladies and Gentlemen ... Distinguished Guests Al Salamo Alaikom Wa Rahmato Allah,Please allow me to welcome you on behalf of the Department of Economic Development to this significant Forum.  Its my pleasure to be with you in this gathering to discuss one of the most important and prominent issues currently addressed in various parts of the world, namely, the small and medium enterprises, as one of the main pillars in achieve diversity and economic stability, as well as for their key role in development of a generation of businessmen with high expertise and capabilities to enable them proceed ahead towards progress and prosperity.Within its role to lead the march of development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Department of Economic Development, in cooperation with Khalifa Fund for Enterprises Development, organizes this forum, which hosts concerned entities and a group of experts from UAE and abroad. We are counting on this gathering, which presents an opportunity for discussing a central issue which tops the concerns of the Government of Abu Dhabi. This Forum serves as a platform for dialogue between the owners of small and medium enterprises, and all the entities which serve this vital sector. This would enable providing the finest services and environment to improve the quality and performance of this sector, which is considered to be a key propeller and supporter of the growth of national economy.The Abu Dhabi SMEs Forum is indeed a chance to grasp, to get acquainted with international experience in the field of SMEs, and to identify the various efforts and endeavors to improve the status of projects within clear strategies, comprehensive plans and ambitious programs. Ladies and Gentlemen, SMEs   play a leading and vital role in the process of industrial development in developed, emerging, and many developing countries, alike; as these projects represent an essential pillar of development. In Japan for example, SMEs projects contribute 52% of the total value of industrial production.  In USA the share of SMEs accounts for 35% of GDP, and the sector employs about 52% of workers in the private sector.  The small and medium enterprises contribute by more than 46% in the total exports of China.In the United States of America about 60% of the total investments are attracted by SMEs. This percentage reaches 65% of total investments in Europe, while in GCC countries the share of SMES out of total investment does not exceed 9%, despite the fact that these projects represent about 87% of the total projects in GCC countries.Although SMEs constitute about 94% of the total projects in the UAE, and about 97% of the total manufacturing projects in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, but they face obstacles which hinder their development. This deprives the national economy of properly benefiting from SMES. Among the major obstacles is the lack of required financing facilities, the weak linkages with large industrial firms, low competitiveness, in addition to the limited training and upgrading programs.The realization of these difficulties and the acknowledgement of their existence is the first step on the right path to find the mechanisms and ways to empower and strengthen these projects. Addressing these constraints requires that all parties responsible for this important sector, exerting more efforts and more dynamic coordination, in order to increase and diversify means of supporting SMES, and enable these projects to adapt to the requirements of competition in the domestic and international markets. Distinguished Guests, Many of the international experience confirm and emphasize that most of the risks and difficulties faced by SMEs in various countries around the world, are mainly attributed to the fact that SMES projects operate individually and separately. So, the convergence and cooperation between these projects is an important factor in overcoming difficulties and obstacles, as it improves the competitive position of these projects. Hence, the concept of industrial clusters” emerges an essential pillar for achieving the urgent priorities of the economy of Abu Dhabi, as stated by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.Industrial clusters, yield many economies of scale, and help in achieving the optimum use of machinery and utilization of production capacities to meet high demand or large requests. The cooperation between these projects increases specialization and division of labor, which would contribute to improving the efficiency of production, as encourage projects to exchange expertise, ideas and information for improving efficiency and quality of products. Ladies and Gentlemen,Distinguished Guests, The Government continues its efforts to develop mechanisms to encourage investment in SMEs, based on directives and  guidance of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister, Ruler of Dubai, and  His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, God save them all.A regulatory framework is underway and is being completed for SMEs projects, as the government seeks to develop the technical and administrative capacities of these projects, and increase the resources available for funding of projects, as well as promoting the role of women in this sector. On the other hand Government attaches great importance to the implementation of the reforms to improve the investment environment, provide database and information needed by investors and strengthen partnership with the private sector.We look forward for these reforms to positively reflect on economic growth in the UAE in general and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in particular. With all hope that this forum would result in setting specific, clear and coherent visions to develop SMEs ,  help keeping  pace with global developments, and further efforts towards the achievement of sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.We highly value the contribution, ideas and opinions and input of participants, to enrich the scope of the Forum, and the development of practical programs, and ambitious plans to develop the SMEs sector. In conclusion, I would like to thank you all, wishing you a pleasant stay and all success in this important Forum. Al Salamo Alaikom Wa Rahmato Allah,
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