Muscat: The Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (ASMED) organised on Sunday a media briefing in which it highlighted 2023 efforts and indicators and touched on strategic approaches for 2024.

In devising its annual plan for 2024, the Authority relied on enhancing the culture of entrepreneurship, continuing to implement programs to accelerate the expansion of enterprises regionally and globally, maximising the benefit of local added value programmes and access to financing with broader and more innovative options, as well as progressing at an accelerated pace to achieve the digital transformation of its systems, programmes and services.

Halima Rashid Al Zari, Chairperson of ASMED affirmed that the authority’s working teams in various governorates of Oman work diligently to meet the aspirations of entrepreneurs in various sectors.

She also touched on the achievement made by Oman in the entrepreneurship index as it ranked in the 11th place out of 49 countries participating in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report for 2023/2024, 27 places ahead of its ranking in 2022/2023.

She said that Authority will organise an exhibition in March of every year in governorates of Oman, noting that the exhibition will display products of enterprises.

Al Zari said that the SMEs sector in Oman is witnessing progress at a rapid pace. She elaborated: “The number of SMEs registered at ASMED increased by 30 percent by the end of 2023 to reach 135,064, compared to 104,141 in 2022. The number of enterprises holding an entrepreneurship card (Riyada) reached approximately 29,000 by the end of 2023, representing 22% of the total SMEs registered at ASMED.”

Ishaq Khalifa Al Shukaili, Director of the Local Added Value Department at ASMED pointed out that the number of SMEs at various business incubators stands at 103. These enterprises, he said, have managed to provide 382 job opportunities for the Omani youth in various business activities and generated revenue of more than OMR4 million.

He explained that the number of small enterprises whose classification upgraded to medium enterprises during 2023 reached 167, while the number of medium enterprises that grew into large enterprises reached 31 institutions.

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