Monday 19, September 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Expo 2020 Dubai, along with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, hosted a ‘BusinessConnect’ seminar to highlight opportunities for SMEs to participate in the Expo. The seminar follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Expo 2020 Dubai and Dubai SME to enable SMEs in the emirate to participate in tenders for various Expo-related projects, the net value of which is estimated at AED 25 billion.

More than 300 SME owners and senior managers who attended the seminar were given an overview of Expo 2020 and related projects as well as the opportunities and procedures for participating in those projects.

Britt Ludvigsen, Advisor Special Projects at Expo 2020 Dubai explained: “Projects like the Expo promote diversification, stimulate local businesses, drive trade and tourism, and create jobs. SMEs have an important role to play in generating growth and employment as part of a diversified UAE economy, and we are committed to supporting them, which is why we have allocated 20% of our direct and indirect spend to SMEs. This latest edition of BusinessConnect reflects our ongoing engagement with the SME community and our efforts to enhance their integration into the Expo supply chain. Dubai SME is a key strategic ally for us in these efforts and we look forward to continuing to work closely together.”
The chief emphasis of the seminar was on the strategic focus of Dubai on innovation and investment in creating a knowledge economy, according to Marwan Al Nasser, Senior Government Procurement Programme Manager at Dubai SME.

“Through the workshop we aim to attract national SMEs to participate in contracts and purchases relating to Expo 2020 Dubai as AED 5 billion worth of tenders have already been allocated to support SMEs. Dubai SME members can register through the unified system on the website to participate and prequalify for the tenders,” added Al Nasser.

“Dubai, because of its international acclaim as an entrepreneurial hub, has become a strong platform for a distinct group of SMEs operating in vital sectors and successfully expanding to neighbouring markets in the region. The BusinessConnect seminar was intended to help SMEs identify growth opportunities in their respective business domains, and also encourage them to be part of the Expo 2020 journey, making a positive impact on the region’s economy throughout the event and beyond,” said Al Nasser.

Al Nasser also lauded Expo 2020 Dubai for the co-operation extended to Dubai SME, and said it will support and enable the vital SME sector to play its desired role in overall economic development. He added that Dubai SME seeks to connect competitive SMEs with the public sector and private sector partners across Dubai and the UAE so that they can be part of the biggest event to date in the region and advance entrepreneurial growth.