Pamela Rosemarie Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), said the UAE is a pioneer in supporting and empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking at the SME Conference during the 13th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton lauded the UAE for its efforts to support SMEs and empower women.

The UAE has launched many relevant programmes and encouraged other countries to learn from its example, as SMEs often lacked adequate support, she added.

The number of SMEs in the UAE reached 557,000 at the end of 2022, in line with an ambitious plan to reach a total of one million companies by 2030.

According to the Ministry of Economy, SMEs contribute 63.5 percent to the UAE’s non-oil GDP.