Monday 26, October 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: Business and government leaders from across the globe report that access to funds for small and medium sized companies is the highest priority area to leverage innovation in economic development. To put this into perspective, “access to funds and resources” is ranked twice as important as “ease of doing business”. The findings are the outcome of a survey launched by GTDW and UAE Ministry of Economy shared with more than 1000 high-level representatives from public and private sector attending Global Trade Development Week (GTDW), which kicks off in Dubai next week.

The survey, focusing on how innovation can drive global economic development, was led by GTDW’s knowledge partner A.T. Kearney, a leading global management consultancy. SMEs account for more than 90% of all businesses in economies globally, so creating the right business environment and policies to foster innovation in small and medium sized enterprises is key to improve competiveness and accelerate global economic growth. The importance of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) cannot be underestimated.  In the UAE recent numbers indicate that 60% of non-oil GDP is generated by SMEs and the official target is to bring it up to 70% by 2021. Innovation is clearly a point on the growth agenda.

H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and patron of the GTDW said: “The theme for GTDW 2015 is ‘Innovation in Global Trade and Economic Development’.  As the host of this event, the UAE encourages global trade leaders to be guided by the principles of innovation as an engine for growth in trade and economic development. Indeed in the UAE we have made innovation a key cornerstone to our Vision 2021 national development goals. A global trading system focused on innovative policies and institutions will help us find new ways to conduct business together across the world, in a sustainable form, to the benefit of all nations.”

In other parts of the world such as the European Union, the importance of innovative SMEs continues to be a focus area. Through IMP3rove – European Innovation Management Academy A.T. Kearney has developed a proven approach to innovation management support services for SMEs that goes beyond the traditional tools and approaches. In a regional context A.T. Kearney research has found that SMEs have the potential to contribute with up to 2 million jobs in the coming years.

Mauricio Zuazua, Partner at A.T. Kearney, commented ahead of the presentation of full survey results at the GDTW: “In a time of unprecedented opportunities due to technology, demographics, and other macro trends, the recent innovation survey confirms that the capabilities to capture those opportunities and deal with volatility still are nascent.”

He added:  “While respondents agree that foresight into future trends is critical, the survey reveals that many—large and small enterprises as well as government departments—are still working on developing the capabilities required to harness innovation. Also, the small and medium enterprises answering the survey place special emphasis on access to funding and regulatory environment as drivers of innovation. There are clear opportunities for governments and businesses to jointly nurture innovation.”

The Global Trade Development Week 2015 starting on 27th of October has been dedicated to define how public and private sector can best develop and leverage the innovation ecosystem to achieve increased trade and economic development. With delegations from across the globe, expectations are high for this event to drive networking and sharing of best practices.  

Andrew Keable, Co-CEO of KW Group, the owners and organizers of GTDW said: “As the world’s largest forum dedicated to global trade, GTDW connects business and trade leaders with government representatives and hopefully the survey outcome will prove valuable in helping delegates to further consider how to leverage innovation and entrepreneurship to spur long-term growth and competitiveness.”

GTDW is being held from 27-29th October at Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai. For full details of the GTDW programmes, visit