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Call for more government involvement is support of small and medium enterprises to tackle unemployment


The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Saida and South Lebanon in collaboration with the Federation of Arab Banks organized yesterday in Saida a seminar on the importance of financing and developing small and medium enterprises as a strategic choice for economic development. The President of the Chamber, Mohammed Hassan Saleh, noted in his intervention that small and medium enterprises represent 90% of business outfits worldwide and provide 40 to 80% of the total work opportunities and contribute to around 85% of the gross national product in many countries of the world.  He also insisted on the need to create mechanisms and financing programmes to support innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological advancement to strengthen the role of small and medium enterprises in social and economic development. The Chair of the Board of Kafalat, Khater Abi Habib, spoke about the services provided by Kafalat to small and medium enterprises and explained Kafalat’s objectives and the support it provides to strengthen productive sectors notably in agriculture, tourism and IT.
The seminar closed with a speech by the general secretary of the Federation of Arab Banks, Wissam Fattu7h, who stressed the importance of raising awareness on the importance of small and medium enterprises in Arab economies.  He noted that despite the importance of this sector and which is well recognized by developed countries, up till now, there are no sufficient strategies in the Arab region to strengthen this sector especially in terms of financing particularly since the share of this sector from overall loan portfolio of the Arab banking sector does not exceed 8%.
Source: Al-Nahar, Al-Safir, Al-Mustaqbal, Al-Diyar 16 May 2014

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