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Saudi urged to set up SME authority

Capitas Group International (CGI), a Jeddah-based management consultancy and advisory firm, has recommended a framework for the establishment of an small and medium enterprises (SME) Authority in Saudi Arabia.

In its SME sector analysis released on Monday, CGI stated that an SME authority was needed in Saudi to serve as a steward to the interests of the small enterprises and to facilitate the development of policies that encourage SME sector growth.

The Authority will also help enable accurate evaluation of the sector through regulatory and financial reforms and help in the collection of data on the sector, said CGI, which focuses its practice on initiatives that are of importance to SME and housing sectors.

Last year CGI was retained by the Government of Qatar to launch – Enterprise Qatar – that country’s stand alone, centralized SME Authority.

“The Shoura Council has recently given its approval for the creation of an SME Authority in Saudi Arabia,” said Naveed Siddiqui, chief executive officer of CGI.

‘This is a critical development for Saudi. Today there is not a single body responsible for policy formulation and co-ordination within this vital sector. The launch of the authority will be the most effective means to enhance the contribution of SMEs to the Kingdom’s economy,” Siddiqui added.

The study by CGI underscored the importance of the sector for the development of the national economy – as SMEs constitute 90 per cent of all Saudi companies.

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