More than 70 per cent of initiatives launched by the SMEs Development Board (SDB) in 2018 have been implemented as of end-2021, according to Industry and Commerce Ministry Under-Secretary Eman Al Doseri.

Speaking during the inauguration of the 10th Edition of the Annual UN MSMEs Day Summit yesterday, the official said the five-year Integrated Tasks Plan tracks initiatives prioritised under five strategic themes: Facilitating financing, facilitating market access, simplifying the business environment, developing skills and promoting innovation with the aim of creating a sustainable, competitive and dynamic local sector.

Ms Al Doseri further said the board was set to co-ordinate the efforts of the ministry, the Economic Development Board (EDB), Tamkeen, Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) and the Bahrain Chamber to strengthen startups and SMEs capacities and boost their competitiveness in domestic, regional and global markets in addition to increasing SMEs contribution to the GDP, exports and national employment.

During the conference, the official stressed that the government gave utmost attention to the SME sector, whereas Economic Vision 2030 aspires to transition from an oil-based economy to a productive and sustainable globally competitive economy, to create a stimulating environment for entrepreneurship and innovation in order to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs.

The ministry continues its efforts to promote innovation by establishing the Bahrain Centre for Technology and Innovation Transfer in collaboration with the University of Bahrain, to encourage research, development and effective enforcement of intellectual property rights to protect the rights of academics and researchers in order to ensure financial gain for inventors, and commercial employment of scientific research results, as well as licensing and transferring technology to markets, according to the best global practices, she added.

“Through this co-operation, the ministry aspires to link the academic sector with the industrial and service productive sectors in the kingdom, and to build strong connections between higher education institutions on one hand, and emerging institutions and innovative entrepreneurs on the other.”

Held under the patronage of Industry and Commerce Minister Zayed Alzayani at Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa, it was organised by the Bahrain Small and Medium Enterprises Society (BSMES) in conjunction with the international celebration of this occasion with the participation of a number of ambassadors, senior government officials and entrepreneurs.

Also attending was BSMES chairman Dr Abdulhasan Al Dairi.

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