- Government support for foreign SMEs presented to international audiences at innovation forum
- SMEs account for 60% of the UAE economy, according to the Ministry of Economy
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are the “bloodline” of the UAE economy, delegates from the UAE Pavilion have emphasised across activities at Hannover Messe, where Emirati innovators are exhibiting to large international audiences.
As the world’s largest industrial technology and manufacturing trade fair, the week-long event has been providing a unique platform to expand on opportunities for some of the UAE’s growing SMEs in international markets.
Among the 26 private sector organisations and government entities taking part in this year’s annual event, are a number of growing UAE-based SMEs that provide the country with sustained growth, economic diversification and job creation.
In addition, Hannover Messe has provided UAE government departments with a unique platform for showcasing the advantages of operating out of the UAE. Faisal Al Hmoudi, Director of the Department of Economic Development’s Takamul programme, spoke to a crowd of international businesspeople at a special innovators forum, where he presented on the Takamul programme.
Launched in 2011 to encourage and facilitate the local application of innovative technologies, Takamul supports industry start-ups and SMEs “from ideas to application”, bringing theoretical concepts to life, Al Hmoudi explained.
He also told the audience of the financial and legal support offered by Takamul in applying for international patents, with 187 being filed in the US through the programme so far. A large number have stemmed from vital sectors that support economic diversification agendas, such as ICT, which accounts for 38% of intellectual property protection filings, and the medical field with 16% of applications.
Another central objective of the programme is to strengthen relationships between industry players and academic institutions, in order to address needs for the latest technological applications, as well as contributing to broader national capacity development goals.
Muhammad Bagudu, Managing Director at EEKMASEC Global FZE, spoke of the warm relations established with government agencies and departments in the UAE as they set up, noting governmental guidance in growing their business in the local market.
He also welcomed the support from the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi in attending Hannover Messe, and explained the opportunities afforded by participating in the trade fair.
“We are seeing a lot of German companies that are interested in establishing B2B relationships and partnerships with UAE-based firms, “said Bagudu. “It is in our interests to work with multinational firms in different parts of the world, most importantly in Europe, so that we can work together on delivering quality solutions.”
EEKMASEC Global FZE, which provides technological solutions to a variety of clients across a range of sectors, set up in the UAE in 2004 after identifying a need in the market for innovative technological applications.
The company is currently actively engaged in the renewable energy market, with a global net worth of some $200 billion, although other areas of focus include automation, robotics and ICT applications that can be utilised in any industry.
Summarising the role of SMEs in the UAE, Bagudu concluded: “SMEs are vital for a sustainable economy. We are glad that the UAE is encouraging SMEs to establish their companies in the UAE, providing cost-effectiveness via various Free Zones throughout the Emirates.”
CCTC & JOPETWIL Industrial Co.
Control Contracting & Trading Company and its subsidiary JOPETWIL Industrial Co., are involved in the energy sector, providing advanced engineering construction and contracting services to onshore and offshore operators throughout the Gulf region.
Saleh Muqattash, founder and CEO of CCTC & JOPETWIL Industrial Co., provided insight from his 40 years of experience in the region and sector to an international audience during the ‘Beyond Oil’ session at the UAE Business and Investment Forum. During the session, held Tuesday April 25, Muqattash noted the superb infrastructure and security of capital and profit provided under the support of the UAE government.
Tariq Haddad, Procurement and Business Development Manager, spoke of the valuable opportunities afforded to SMEs by participating at Hannover Messe, where many groups from the vertical and horizontal supply chains also exhibit.
“We come every year — previously under the auspice of free zone operators, but now independently,” Haddad said. “We can strengthen our relationships with The big internationals, as well as develop new relations with other suppliers and potential partners. In fact, we’re meeting today with Siemens in order to enhance our working relationship at a very senior level.”
Commenting on the government support for SMEs in the UAE, Haddad said: “SMEs are critical to the economy, and the government has realised the important role we play. And this is a mutually beneficial relationship — operating out of the UAE not only provides us with an open and stable environment, the diverse and metropolitan nature of the country also gives us unparalleled access to talented individuals from all disciplines.”