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Expo 2020: More than AED5bn allocated to SMEs

More than AED5 billion worth of contracts, representing 20 per cent of Expo 2020’s total direct and indirect spend, will be allocated to local and international Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Expo 2020 announced Monday.

SME’s contribute more than 60 per cent of the UAE’s total GDP, as the country increasingly focuses on smaller businesses to deliver the Expo and achieve wider economic diversification goals.

“SMEs are already playing a central role in the UAE’s drive towards cultivating a thriving private sector and diversified economy, which makes SME empowerment a strategic priority for the government. This effort is also aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 to transition to a knowledge-based economy that fosters creativity and innovation,” said His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the UAE SME Council, the Dubai Media Office reported.

A UAE law allocates at least ten per cent of all federal contracts to SMEs and states that companies in which the federal government owns a 25 per cent stake or more, must contract local SMEs for at least five per cent their total purchasing, servicing and consulting needs.

“Expo 2020 acts as an enabler for SMEs and is constantly looking for opportunities to maximise their integration into the wider UAE economy,” Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of Bureau Expo Dubai 2020, was quoted as saying on the Dubai Media Office website.

“This is evident in the strong activity on our e-sourcing portal, where, of the 6,196 suppliers registered, 2,418 are SMEs and, of the 787 contracts already awarded, 320 have been won by SMEs.

“The integration of SMEs into the delivery of Expo 2020 Dubai is set to continue to stimulate employment, strengthen existing industries, improve SME competitiveness and ultimately contribute to sustainable economic growth. This will be an important part of the 2020 Dubai’s legacy for the UAE and wider region,” HE Al Hashimi added.