SMEs Absorbs Half of the Workforce in the Arab Region

  • Middle East and North Africa
  • 13 February 2019

"The small and medium-sized enterprises account for half the workforce in the Arab region, but the funding opportunities available to them are the lowest in the world." said Jihad Azour, the director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the International Monetary Fund.

Azour revealed at a seminar held at the American University in Cairo, to launch a report entitled "Enhancing the Financial Inclusion of Small and Medium Enterprises in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia", that Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and the UAE have three quarters of the emerging companies in the region.

Azour pointed out that "small and medium-sized enterprises account for 96 percent of companies registered in the Arab region, and the loans offered for these projects do not exceed 7 percent of the total bank lending in the region."

He also added: "the countries in the region need to facilitate the access of small and medium-sized enterprises to banking and non-banking financing," considering that "the funding provided to them does not exceed 7% of the GDP of the emerging countries," stressing on “the importance of Middle East countries to the technology to facilitate financial Innovative modes of financing".

Source: (Economic Bulletin website, Edited)