Monday, June 1, 2009

SMBs take up 94 % of the total projects in UAE, followed by 92 % in Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, 78 % in Kuwait, 75 % in KSA

1st International Consultants Conference calls for greater trust between banks and SMBs to boost GCC economies

SMBs take up 94 % of the total projects in UAE, followed by 92 % in Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, 78 % in Kuwait, 75 % in KSA

Dubai, UAE, 1 June, 2009: The 1st International Consultants Conference has urged for increased trust between banks and the SMB sector in the Gulf. On the first day of the conference, speakers said that SMBs in the Gulf lacked managerial capabilities to fight the financial crisis.

Dr. Huda Sulaiman Al Jasem, Director of 1st International Consultants Conference, said: “SMBs have found it really difficult to absorb what is going on and its impact on its daily operations and strategic vision. This highlights the importance of getting the best in consultancy to come out of the crisis with the least damage”.

Al Jasem added: “These companies form the pivot of the economic development of the Gulf. They don’t need credit facilities as much as they need clarity in managerial direction by having right directors who understand the market well and have professional techniques to move these companies forward”.

SMB companies attract young professionals, which helps in downplaying the crisis. Dr Al Jasem urged for enhancing the roles of these companies by granting them the right management and marketing support and guidelines as they face such challenges which are more threatening than the credit crunch itself.

According to the Planning and Economy Department in Abu Dhabi, SMBs constitute 94 percent of the total projects in UAE, followed by 92 per cent in Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, 78 per cent in Kuwait and 75 per cent in KSA.

Al Jasem added: “SMBs will not survive if relationship with banks is not built on solid foundations, transparent approach and mutually beneficial scenarios. SMBs shouldn’t be left behind and they should be getting the marketing, HR and technical support. Also, we should spread a corporate culture of Entrepreneurial approach through consultants who should be putting the right mechanism in place.”

The conference said that SMBs did not get as seriously affected by the crisis as the large enterprises, which shows their role in confronting the crisis.

At the conference, the importance of effective response to crisis was raised by international and local experts. Al Jassem added: “Businesses will not be very profitable if they respond slowly to problems and challenges. The ability to identify and respond quickly to challenges is what separates business winners from losers. This is where consultancy work fits in”.

The 1st International Consultants Conference is a forum for decision makers and business people to track best practices and proven solutions. The conference highlighted the need for high end consultancy for the mirco and macro economics of the gulf region.

The conference threw light on the relationship between multinational agencies versus local agencies, private versus government sector expenditure on consultancy, GCC versus Levant as well as seconding consultants versus full timer employees' formula and fees of consultancies at the time of budget cut off.

The event is supported by the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry Association, UAE Business Women council and Young Arab Leaders and organized by Al Maharah and Bell Consultancies.

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