Small enterprises still face hurdles in getting funds

Business Monday 28/November/2016 18:32 PM
By: Times News Service
Small enterprises still face hurdles in getting funds

Muscat: Small and medium enterprises are still facing hurdles on several fronts, including funds, since the directives for helping these units are not implemented in the right manner, said a senior official of SME Development Fund.
There were 14 directives from the government for promoting small and medium units, which were announced a couple of years ago. “But the problem is that these were not implemented in the right manner,” said Salah Hilal Al Maawali, deputy chief executive officer of SME Development Fund. Banks have to allocate 5 per cent of their commercial loan portfolio to SMEs.
Most of the banks did not achieve the target even after changing the definition (of SMEs). Now the annual turnover (of SMEs) is OMR3 million as against OMR1.5 million earlier. Also, the stipulation on giving 10 per cent of government project contracts to SMEs is also not implemented properly,” added Al Maawali.
Meanwhile, the SME exhibition, which will continue till November 30, was opened under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Taimur bin As’ad Al Said at the new Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The three-day exhibition was attended by more than 90 small and medium enterprises in several sectors, including manufacturing, logistics, tourism, and agriculture.
The companies includedthose engaged in electrical instruments, cables, manufacturing of miniatures, craft industries, perfumes, textiles, accessories, shoes, bags, dates, sweets, supply, logistics, green economy projects, souvenirs, gifts and other industries.
The second sector is the logistic services, which include technical and professional services, event management, training, insurance, security, safety, real estate brokerage, transport, commercial representation agencies, shipping, cleaning, system analysis, design, digital printing, networks, communication, data collection and others.
The third sector is the tourism sector, which includes travel and tourism firms. The fourth sector is agricultural and fisheries projects. The fifth sector is related to mining, which includes fixing natural and artificial stones, crushers, quarries and others.
Four seminars
The exhibition included four seminars presented by different public and private organisations, including Orpic, Larsen & Toubro, Oman National Investment Development and Oman Electricity Transmission Company.
These seminars aimed atgiving Omani entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their products and exposure to new clients and markets as well as create local job opportunities.
There will be three seminars discussing different topics on Tuesday.
The first one is about the financing of small and medium enterprises by the SME Development, second the development Bank’s role in supporting Small and medium enterprises by Oman Development Bank and the last seminar about the mechanism of registration companies and business opportunities for SMEs by the Ministry of Defense.
The SME Expo is jointly organised by the Public Authority for SME Development (Riyada), the Public Authority for Craft Industries, Al Raffd Fund, Oman Chamber for Commerce and Industry and Oman International Exhibition Centre in collaboration with SME Development Fund.