Dr. Awadallah along with Dr. Mustafa Hudaib, President of the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences, welcomed the diplomats and economists along with the 500 participants who represent local, regional and international experts and analysts from the fields of finance and banking, participating in the conference.
“Collaterals and loans’ high interests, forced by banks and financial institutions, are some of the many obstacles SME’s are facing in today’s business environment,” said Dr. Bassem Awadallah, Minister of Finance in his speech during the opening. He also added “The lack of having accurate information database for poverty and unemployment in the region along with the high administrative cost are the main difficulties that the industry of financing SME’s is facing.” On the other hand, Dr. Mustafa Hudaib said, “Despite their benefits to the whole economy, SME’s are facing a number of difficulties and obstacles that are halting and complicating the process of their establishment and operational phases in general, resulting in the minimization of SME’s social and economic benefits to the community”. Dr. Hudaib also added ”the availability of land for agricultural and economic use for SME’s projects and their high cost along with the rareness and high cost of the raw materials used in the production and manufacturing processes, especially the imported ones, are other difficulties and obstacles that SME’s are facing”.
The first day of the conference focused on 15 different papers all discussing the core subject; “The Role of the Government and Non-Government Organizations”. The first session of the conference examined the strategic role of the government in SME promotion, within the market orientation and the policies of investment climates and SME policies. It was supported by two concurrent sessions that tackled the governments’ role in developing SME’s by sponsoring them, empowering a suitable environment that would help in their development, and by emphasizing on professional partnership. In parallel, the human resources and entrepreneurship development was the second session’s main topic, supported by the second concurrent session that concentrated on the “Role of Successful Professional Partnerships in Small and Micro Enterprise Development”.
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