Over 600 million jobs will be needed by 2030 making the development of small and medium enterprise (SMEs) a high priority for governments around the world. These details were revealed at the 8th International MSMEs Day Conference 2020 held under the patronage of H.E. Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani, the Minister of Industry, Commerce, & Tourism.

Chairman of Bahrain SMEs Society Dr Abdulhasan Al-Dairi stressed that Covid-19 had imposed new conditions leading to new systems and innovative solutions to accelerate and advance various manufacturing means. 

In March, Bahrain announced a financial package of 4.3 billion Bahraini dinars ($11.39 billion) to support the country’s citizens and private sector and counter the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The BHD 4.3bn stimulus package is equivalent to 29.6% of Bahrain’s annual GDP. The package also included doubling the Liquidity Support Fund to BHD 200 million.

Beginning in the 1990s Bahrain has grown an ecosystem of state institutions whose purpose is to encourage the growth of SMEs. 

Speaking to Albilad exclusively, “We commend the International and National efforts that support small and medium enterprise to cope with the prevailing situation.  Recognizing the necessity and power of MSMEs worldwide, the  UN General Assembly declared 27 June as Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day. This is a huge milestone for us as SME’s are deemed to be the backbone of any country,” said Chairman of Bahrain SMEs Society Dr Abdulhasan Al-Dairi.

SMEs have been hit the hardest by the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, the micro in particular, with many facing closure and unemployment. To create 600 million jobs in 10 years makes the development of this sector top priority. In emerging markets, SME’s are the engines for creating employment opportunities providing 7 out of 10 jobs.

“The Covid-19 health crisis and the associated measures of confinement will have devastating consequences for Micro and small business operations and will disrupt existing value chains.  This, in turn, will lead to a loss of income and unemployment. Over 50% of the GDP of any country is contributed by the SMEs sector. In Bahrain SMEs account for almost 30% of the GDP and provide employment opportunities which we are working on increasing” he added.

Dr Al-Dairi reiterated that with the right ecosystem, small business will flourish and within the growth lies the real added value of business diversification which would entail more employment opportunities and further partnerships.

The SME conference urged for a worldwide alliance for a synergy of efforts to help sustain SME’s in the economy.