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Dubai Expo 2020 to allocate AED5 billion of contracts to SMEs

Staff Writer |
Dubai has announced that 20 percent of direct and indirect spending on the Expo 2020 event will be allocated to small and medium enterprises.

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Under the plans, contracts worth more than AED5 billion will be allocated to local and international SMEs in the coming years, EXPO 2020 said in a press release.

The landmark announcement is the latest in a series of SME-focussed operational and legacy driven initiatives that have emerged as the result of Expo 2020 Dubai’s belief in the important role that SMEs have to play in contributing towards the effective and innovative delivery of an exceptional World Expo for both participants and visitors, as well as the UAE’s wider diversification efforts.

Commenting on the announcement, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Bureau Expo Dubai 2020, said 2,418 of the 6,196 suppliers registered on the government’s e-sourcing portal were SMEs.

Of the 787 contracts awarded so far, 320 have been won by SMEs, she added.

"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," Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the UAE SME Council, said.

"This effort is also aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 to transition to a knowledge-based economy that fosters creativity and innovation."

The country’s Federal Law No 2, introduced in 2014, stipulates that 10 percent of all federal government contracts are allocated to SMEs.

In addition, firms in which the government owns a 25 percent stake must contract SMEs for at least 5 percent of their total purchasing, servicing and consulting needs.

SMEs are estimated to comprise almost 94 percent of companies operating in the UAE. The 400,000 SMEs also account for 60 percent of the country’s GDP and are expected to account for 70 percent by 2021.

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