ASMED unveils salient features of 2023 plan for empowering SMEs

Oman Sunday 05/February/2023 20:33 PM
ASMED unveils salient features of 2023 plan for empowering SMEs

Muscat: The total number of SMEs registered in Oman stood at more than 210,000 by September 2022 while among these 104,141 were registered at ASMED, a senior executive said.
Abdulaziz Said Al Raisi, Deputy Chairman of the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (ASMED) said this on Sunday held a press conference.
He outlined the accomplishments made by ASMED during 2022 and also unveiled the salient features of its 2023 plan for empowering small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and ensuring their sustainability.
He added that the number of active SMEs that are holders of Riyada card stood at 37,489 and that SMEs generated exports worth more than OMR2 billion as per September 2020 statistics.
Al Raisi pointed out that, in 2022, a total of 28,445 Riyada cards were issued for the first time, while applications for renewal of the same stood at 20,113.
Riyada card is a document that enables its holders to avail a set of incentives and exemptions from dues of different government and private establishments, he explained.
SMEs filed more than 200 applications for usufruct contracts to benefit from lands of 10 industrial charts announced in 2022, said Al Raisi, noting that 35 such applications have been approved so far.
Al Raisi also rolled out a number of programmes for honing the skills of entrepreneurs, including one named “Entrepreneur Readiness Programme”, which was implemented by ASMED in all governorates of Oman to upgrade the efficiency of owners of SMEs wishing to get financing.
Al Raisi said that ASMED incubators host 56 start-ups and that the authority continues to provide professional support and offer licenses to home-based business activities, besides hosting the events of SMEs through its publicity committee.
Al Raisi added, “The preparation of ASMED’s 2023-2025 strategy affirms the significance of the SME sector and fits with national visions on advocating the best international practices for implementing ambitious initiatives that keep pace with standard policies, legislations and rapid transformations in the field of entrepreneurship.”
Al Raisi underscored ASMED’s emphasis on easing SMEs’ access to financing, to regional and global markets and e-marketing programmes, as well as support for emerging companies based on innovation and technology.
“ASMED will this year launch a “Digital Academy for Entrepreneurship and Start-ups”. The move will pave the way for partnerships with the government and private sectors and the introduction of a “Suppliers Development Programme”. This is in addition to studying and analyzing investment opportunities in Omani governorates,” said Al Raisi.
Younis Mohammed Al Nasri, ASMED Assistant Deputy Chairman for Funding and Investment, said that as many as 203 applications for funding were submitted to ASMED electronically, among them 20 applications that were sanctioned by the end of 2022.
The total projected sum stands at more than RO 2.3 million, he explained.
Al Nasri pointed out that ASMED plans to finance 250 establishments and endorse the licensing of 70 new Sanad centres, depending on the needs of each wilayat in different governorates of Oman. On the sidelines of the press conference, ASMED announced the opening of a weeklong subscription to the 2023 “Entrepreneur Readiness Programme”. It advised entrepreneurs to tap the services of the programme that include funding and land use (usufruct).