Qatar’s SME sector poised for big gains: KPMG
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK DOHA WITH the contribution of SMEs to the Qatari market economy now standing at 28 percent, out of which 55 percent comes from trade and 16 percent from industry, the sector is poised for big gains, KPMG has said. “SME business confidence in Qatar reflects an extremely positive environment for business growth”, said Christopher Bernard, partner and head of middle markets for KPMG’s Europe and Middle East unit.
“With the awarding of the 2022 FIFA world cup hosting rights to Qatar, the growth of SMEs is expected to further improve due to heightened economic activity, in several sectors of the economy,” he added. No wonder a majority of SMEs in Qatar are expecting the pace of the general business environment, as measured by economic growth, to increase, he said.
Over half of Qatar SMEs are planning to increase their capital expenditure with 43 percent maintaining their current high levels and only 4 percent looking to reduce it, he added.
The outlook is positive with growth expected over the next three to five years primarily in road construction and building construction resulting from some massive projects like metro and fast international rail links 10 years, he explained.
He made these observations in course of a presentation on promoting international trade and partnerships between the world and the Arab countries and addressing challenges and external obstacles impeding the development of business- pioneering SMEs.
The presentation was made during the International Trade Conference and Exhibition held this week at Qatar National Convention Center where opportunities and challenges for SMEs in GCC and Qatar were also discussed.
The event brought together representatives of governments, semi-government institutions, banks and SMEoriented private companies in Qatar and other Arab countries.
On the first day of the conference KPMG officially launched the Owner- Managed Business (OMB) group to serve the SMEs and, also had a stand in this exhibition.
“As Qatar redoubles its efforts to foster sustainable job creation and diversification, entrepreneurship is presenting itself as an increasingly pressing priority. SMEs are the main growth and job engine in mature and emerging economies,” he said.
Qatar is in a major transition with new business formation and expansion and mass incubation of new enterprises all over the region, he added.
“Scope for vitality and innovation — new policies and institutions are required to unleash entrepreneurial activity. Regulatory support to offer and incentivise advice and assistance to SMEs is likely to pay significant dividends,” Bernard said.
“To support the SMEs in Qatar, the government has introduced support and funding schemes to benefit the entrepreneurs including providing private infrastructure facilities at subsidised rates, making funds available to them in association with other participating banks and financial institutions at low cost, initiating and organising workshops to train, educate and motivate young entrepreneurs develop their skills and grow,” he pointed out.
Talking about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region he said, “Over half of the SMEs across the MENA region are looking to expand internationally which will also ensure that this growth remains sustainable in the longer term and, believe that the growing importance of trade with emerging markets is also an important factor driving SMEs to consider international business as a revenue generator.”