Sultanate preparing new strategy for SME sector

Oman Monday 18/July/2022 21:59 PM
By: Times News Service
Sultanate preparing new strategy for SME sector
The proposed strategy will help in generating new job opportunities for Omani youth.

Muscat: A strategy is being prepared for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector in line with Oman Vision 2040 by the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (ASMED).

The new strategy seeks to extend a supportive environment for SMEs through the development of mechanisms and programmes that strengthen the integration of all entities related to entrepreneurship.

It is also being prepared to augment the contribution of SMEs to the gross domestic product (GDP), raising the Sultanate of Oman’s indicators in the field of entrepreneurship and also to bring in new initiatives to generate employment opportunities in the country.

The total number of SMEs registered at ASMED at the end of May 2022 increased by 46.9 per cent to reach 78,089 compared to 53,166 SMEs during the same period in 2021, according to the data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information.

The Governorate of Musandam recorded the highest increase by 100.5 per cent, followed by the Governorate of Dhofar by 77.7 per cent, the Governorate of Al Wusta by 70.8 per cent and the Governorate of Al Dhahirah by 32.8 per cent.

The Governorate of Muscat registered the largest number of SMEs till the end of May 2022 reaching 26,374, followed by the Governorate of North Al Batinah at 12,030 and the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah at 8,821.

Earlier in June 2022, a raft of new measures was announced for the SME sector. It provided an additional package of subsidies for SMEs, entrepreneurs and insolvent persons. Also, to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the package included a number of subsidies and payment of overdue fees by entrepreneurs.

These included waivers for entrepreneurs who are Riyada card holders (for beneficiaries of emergency loans) issued by the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, waivers from fines and fees payable by SMEs against delays in loans to the Lender Portfolio (earlier called the Al Raffd Fund) until the end of this year and waivers in payments of overdue fees by entrepreneurs and SME owners who face prison charges following prosecution on account of bad cheques drawn on insufficient funds.

The measures also included postponement of lawsuits against individuals/ establishments not abiding by the provisions of loan agreements signed with the Lender Portfolio until the end of 2022.