CAIRO: The Ministry of Industry and Trade allocated a 500 million EGP sum of its 2014-15 Fiscal Year budget Saturday to finance Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs) in the forthcoming period to revitalize the sector and removing financial challenges, according to the ministry’s official homepage.
During his meeting Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB), Minister of Industry and Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced that their strategy for SMEs will address three main aspects by finding enough finance, qualifying the youth, and amending SME regulations to attract new investment in the sector.
Abdel Nour said of the 2014-15 FY budget, the ministry is working on mechanisms of cashing financial allocations to remove SMEs’ finance challenges and overcome the sector’s marketing problems, with the coordination of Egyptian Commercial Representation Offices and by delivering promotion missions.
As for qualifications, the ministry will coordinate with the Industrial Training Council and the Ministry of Youth to execute a number of SME training programs such as the National Program of Training for Employment and providing the needed equipments to prepare infrastructure.
The ministry is also set to amend SME regulations as a step to attract new investment along with protecting entrepreneurs, Abdel Nour said. “Such new amendments will include surrounding SMEs’ imports, supplying exports, and opening new horizons for investments,” he added.
On July 17, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development allocated 350 million EGP ($50 million) to finance SMEs in Egypt in the upcoming period, Al-Mal Business daily reported.
SMEs represent 90 percent of total companies in Egypt and provide between 70-80 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about 75 percent of job opportunities and serve major industries.
The importance of SME industries lies in their ability to create job opportunities, diversify incomes, boost growth rates, and provide stainable income for breadwinning women since a tangible part of SMEs are acquired by women.