Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Arab SMEs
Arab Republic of Egypt - Ministry of Industry & Foreign Trade
April 1, 2011
Statistics show that SMEs represent 90% of total companies in the vast majority of economies worldwide and provide 40-80% of total job opportunities in addition to contributing largely to GDPs of many countries. For example, SMEs constitute more than 99% of all non-agricultural private enterprises in Egypt and account for nearly three-quarters of new employment generation. For Kuwait, this sector constitutes approximately 90% of the private workforce, including labor and imported an estimated 45% of the labor force, employment and national rates of less than 1%, in Lebanon, more than 95% of the total enterprises, contribute about 90% of the jobs. In the UAE, small and medium enterprises accounted about 94.3% of the economic projects in the country, and employs about 62% of the workforce and contributes around 75% of the GDP of the state. In addition, they account for 96% of the GDP in Yemen in 2005, and about 77%, 59%, 25% in Algeria, Palestine and Saudi Arabia, respectively, during the same year. It is often argued that the Governments should promote SMEs because of their greater economic benefits compared to the large firms in terms of job creation, efficiency and growth. Following are the major driving force to strengthen SMEs in the Arab countries: (1) SMEs are the important vehicle in terms of employments and poverty alleviation. SME employs a large share of the labour force in many Arab countries. (2) SMEs make significant contributions to the national economy of the country; and Can be a tool to accelerate the growth of exports. (3) SMEs foster an entrepreneurial culture and make the economy more resilient to the global fluctuations. The aim of this research is to study enhancing the competitiveness of Arab small and medium enterprises.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: SMEs, Arab countriesworking papers series
Date posted: April 2, 2011
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