Doing Business in the Middle East: Middle East Business News and Magazine is proud to be media partner of: SMEs Regional Conference for Chambers & Business Associations: Drivers of Change
Although SMEs are globally regarded to be the Engines of Growth – as they are the backbone of the private sector and the mechanism for job creation, innovation and poverty reduction – this sector is still somehow not sufficiently supported and empowered to reach its maximum potential.
In the MENA region, SMEs account for more than 90% of total firms, which makes them a vital component of socio-economic development as these firms significantly contribute to the GDP and employ a large number of workers. These facts should encourage all stakeholders to join efforts to enhance the level of support directed towards SMEs to better empower them to take up their socio-economic role as true Engines of Growth.
Chambers of Industry and Commerce, as well as Business Associations (CBAs) should be taking a leading role in stimulating SMEs to unlock their potential through a set of innovative, efficient and enabling services, as CBAs have a strong lobbying effect on drawing policies and decision making processes which should be used to channel efforts to impact positively upon the wellbeing of SMEs.
By holding this SME Regional Conference under the theme of “Chambers & Business Associations: Drivers of Change”, Jordan Chamber of Industry (JCI) aspires to open a much needed dialogue about the strong role that has to be played by CBAs to support the engines of growth (SMEs) prosperity in the MENA region.
This will be tackled through opening the floor for discussion in four main pillars, namely;
SMEs: Facts, Growth and Challenges
SME Financing: addressing the main challenge
SME non-financial services: the empowerment
Innovation: the path to the future
The conference is targeting more than 150 participants locally, regionally and internationally, and is held under the kind support of the Confederation of Danish Industry.
Attracting distinguished speakers, this conference will be THE event for SME empowerment, positive change, business development and innovation.
Open a dialogue between all related stakeholders to discuss the status, challenges and future of SMEs
Showcase the role chambers of industry & commerce and business associations can play to empower SMEs and unlock their growth potential
Demonstrate tools and global best practices for SME empowerment and development
Facilitate SMEs access to markets, finance and advisory services by gathering all related stakeholders in one place
Increased awareness among SMEs, Chambers and Business association about the vital role that could be played by the latter in assisting SMEs
Recommendations for all stakeholders to be used as a road map to enhance SMEs
Stimulate donors to support ambitious projects in this arena
Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the MENA region
Related unions, associations, syndicates
Banks, Financial Institutions and Non-financial institutions
Donors and Development programs
Confederation of Danish Industry (DI): a trade organisation and employers association funded, owned and managed entirely by 10,000 companies within the manufacturing, trade and service industry. DI works to provide the best conditions for Danish businesses in order to improve opportunities for growth and overall competitiveness in Denmark and overseas.
Arab Institute for Planning: an Arab regional NGO, working to support development in Arab countries through national capacity building, research, consulting and publications.
Industrial Sector in Jordan
The industrial sector is one of the most important sectors of the economy in Jordan as it directly contributes about a quarter of national GDP. In addition to its close association with many other economic sectors, the industrial sector employs approximately 15% of the overall labour force and provides opportunities for rehabilitation and training.
It contributes greatly to reducing the trade deficit as industrial exports are estimated at about 90% of the total merchandise exports.
Industries in Jordan are divided into three major sectors:
The manufacturing sector (contributing 20% of GDP) divided into therapeutic and medical supplies, plastics and rubber, chemical, cosmetics, leather industries and garments, wood industries, furniture, engineering industries, electrical and IT, construction industries, food products, packaging industry, paper and cardboard and office supplies.
Extractive sector industries (contributing 3% of GDP) include mining.
Electricity and water sector (contributing 2% of GDP).
Jordan Chamber of Industry
In order to service the industrial sector, the Jordan Chamber of Industry was established to work as a national umbrella group for all the Chambers of Industry that exist within Jordan. The Chamber seeks to represent the interests of these organisations and enhance overall co-operation and co-ordination.
The Jordan Chamber of Industry has a board of directors and elected representatives from all industrial sectors.