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Minister of Economy Opens SME Expo in Abu Dhabi

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H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the UAE Small and Medium Enterprises Council, officially opened the Small to Medium Enterprise Exhibition, SME Expo at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on behalf of the National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises the executive are of the Council of Small and Media Enterprises at the Ministry of Economy.

The SME Expo was declared open in the presence of: HE Shamma bint Sohail Al Mazrouei, Minister of  Youth; HE Mohamed Ahmed Al-Bawardi, Minister of State for Defense Affairs; HE Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills; HE Eng. Suhail Mohammed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry; HE Sara Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Science; HE Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development; and HE Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh. Minister of State, His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Hajri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi (DED) and number of senior government officials and representatives of the private sector in the country.

The two-day SME Expo, which is free to attend, is organized in strategic partnership with funding programs to support and encourage Emirati entrepreneurs including The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, The Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Foundation ‘Ruwad’, Saud Bin Saqr Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises (RAK SME),  and Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla Programme for Supporting Youth Enterprises. The SME Expo will provide young people, entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises across the UAE with access to industry-leading experts and solution providers to grow their businesses. The event is supported by National Bank of Fujairah, Emirates Development Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Global Markets.

Dr Adeeb Alafeefi, Director, National Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Projects, said, “SME Expo is part of the UAE Government strategic efforts to increase the contribution of the SME sector to the national economy, where the current share of the sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018 is estimated to be at about 49% per cent. The exhibition will boost national efforts aimed at raising contributions to 60 per cent by 2021, in line with the objectives of the national agenda.”

He added: “The UAE has been recognized regionally and globally to quickly build and develop the SME sector. It is currently ranked first in the Arab world and seventh globally on the Global Entrepreneurial Spirit Index (GESI). At the National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises and Projects, we aim to develop blueprints to provide expertise, technical support as well as training to boost SMEs. The Program aims to empower the small and medium-sized national entrepreneurs, and the SME Expo will provide a platform for these entrepreneurs to meet leading industry experts and collaborate with each other.”

The two-day SME Expo brings together leading professionals who will conduct masterclasses, presenting case studies and seminars alongside an interactive exhibition designed exclusively to enhance the SME sector’s productivity, competitiveness and profitability. SME Expo will bring together thousands of business owners and decision-makers to build business relationships networks, attend the seminars and meet solution providers that offer unique products and services to help grow their business.

Vince Cook, CEO, National Bank of Fujairah and headline sponsor of SME Expo said: “We are proud to be the headline sponsor of this prestigious event and supporting entrepreneurs to innovate solutions that will drive customer satisfaction, convenience and ultimately, business growth. At NBF, we have long recognised the important role of SMEs in driving economic growth through innovation. As such, we have established a solid reputation as the financial partner for businesses in the UAE committed to supporting their growth and expansion by offering a bespoke portfolio of solutions catering to their unique challenges – whether it concerns financing, VAT reporting, operational efficiency or market intelligence. A very recent example of this broad support is our collaboration with the Emirates Development Bank on the “Credit Guarantee Scheme” to provide much-needed funding to the segment.”

SME Expo will provide industry experts access to over 150 exhibitors from a range of sectors including: Startup Incubator; Government Services; Technology and Internet; Education/Training and Consultant; Office Supply & Furniture; Real Estate Services & Retail; Trade and Business Services; Finance/Insurance & Banks; Legal Services, Accountants & Finance Consultancies; Free Zones & Economic Zones; Marketing & Communication Services; Tourism; Food and Beverages; Health and Wellness; Merchant Processing; Business Setup & Business Center and Logistics.

SME Expo is initiated by the UAE’s National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises and Projects under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy and supported by headline sponsor National Bank of Fujairah; platinum sponsor Emirates Development Bank; gold sponsor ADIB; and silver sponsor Abu Dhabi Global Market.

For further information about SME Expo and to register for the seminar and workshops and access to the Interactive Exhibition, visit www.smeexpo.ae

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