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KIB Chairs the 4th SME Forum Session



KIB Chairs the 4th SME Forum Session


-          Abul: Bureaucracy, slow procedures and inadequate legislation constraint small business success

-          Home-based businesses conducted via Instagram without a business license or controls open future money laundering potential

-          The establishment of small businesses to profit from government projects for large companies threatens continuity of SME’s.

Kuwait International Bank’s General Manager of Board Affairs Department, Dr. Sadeq Abul has chaired the fourth session of the SME Forum, which was organized by the Union of Arab Banks and the Arab Planning Institute under the auspices of the Kuwait Minister of Finance, Anas Al-Saleh on Dec 15-16.

Conducted under the theme “Investment opportunities and small business funding”, the SME Forum stressed the vital contribution of small and medium sized enterprises towards the GDPs of several international economies. The need for further development in a coordinated way through overhauling the education system, establishing new training methods in addition to providing the necessary financial support was stressed. He explained that bureaucracy, red tape, slow procedures and inadequate legislation at the present time are among the largest barriers to the success of SME’s.


Organizational Regulations

On the second and final day of the SME Forum, Abul discussed the fast-growing phenomenon of home-based businesses selling their products on social media without a business license or proper controls. He inquired whether a study of this phenomenon has been conducted, and if legislators are actively working to prevent possible exploitations that may include money laundering. Abul also warned of the dangers of encouraging permanent partnerships between small and large institutions which are set up to benefit from projects awarded to large firms, as they can threaten the sustainability of SME’s. He stressed the need for cooperation of all relevant parties in order to ensure the success of SME’s, which enjoys heavy attention in private and public sectors around the world.


Three Themes

Under the chairmanship of Abul, the fourth session of the SME forum discussed three themes. The first theme covered the role of the banking sector in financing SME’s, where Andrew Zeej, Deputy CEO of Gulf Bank, revealed that his bank intended on offering products tailored to SME’s following regulatory approval.

Additionally, the topic of partnership and integration between SME’s and large organizations was raised. KAMCO’s Senior Vice President, Alternative Investment Department, Munir Izz Alddin, stressed the importance of reciprocal partnerships between these institutions in order for SME’s to prosper. He explained that there is a need for small businesses to take advantage of the opportunities made available by large organizations, citing cases in foreign countries where SME’s played an important role in the implementation phase of large oil sector projects.

Thirdly, Dr. Al-Saleh of the Scientific Research Institute provided various models of investment opportunities for SME’s, stressing that his institute has benefited from experiences of Taiwanese and Korean companies, noting that the Scientific Research Institute has invited these companies to form a partnership with the aim of supporting young Kuwaiti nationals who wish to establish small and medium-sized projects in the technology and marketing fields.

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