Egypt to host international SME forum next June

Egypt said it will host an international forum for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in June 2019, with 52 countries participating.

In an official statement, Egypt’s Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar said on Wednesday that Egypt will host the meetings next summer in conjunction with a United Nations celebration on the same day in its headquarters in New York.

The minister said SMEs are a main pillar in boosting economic growth globally.

Nassar said that developing SMEs is a priority for the Egyptian government, pointing towards a Central Bank of Egypt initiative to fund the enterprises in 2016.

The minister said that his ministry is keen on giving all the necessary support to these enterprises, which he said make up 80 percent of the country’s national economy.

Egypt has been working to strengthen the booming sector over the past few years.

Last May, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi promised a five-year tax exemption for SMEs that register their business in the formal economy.

Sisi stressed that the informal economy, represented in SMEs, has helped many Egyptians sustain their basic needs.

The announcement by Sisi over the summer came two years after he introduced an initiative to provide 200 billion pounds in loans for SMEs through the Central Bank over four years.

Financing for SMEs in Egypt has ramped up to 8.5 billion pounds at the end of March 2018, compared to 4.9 billion pounds in 2017; a rise of 91.5 percent, following the 2016 decision to boost these businesses.

Source: Ahram Online