Summit to Tackle Obstacles to Funding SMEs in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah- Officials and experts from international and regional agencies are discussing drastic solutions to the problem facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia. The problem lies in the rejection of the funding requests of the sector’s companies; this represents a serious obstacle to the path of trade growth specifically in the fields of services and commodities.

Jeddah, that lies west of Saudi Arabia, will host in the beginning of November a summit on funding trade and will witness the participation of considerable number of decision-makers in funding institutions and authorities in addition to experts in SMEs. The purpose of the summit is to broach solutions and positive methods to overcome the obstacles facing the funding trade.

Ziad Al-Bassam, who is responsible for SME projects at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the upcoming summit coincides with a period considered to be challenging with regards to SMEs. Some companies are exiting the market due to the absence of funding, which is the cornerstone of their success.

The summit is an initiative to bring together businessmen who are participating in determining the function of trade funding from the government, important financial institutions, insurance companies and legal consultants in addition to heads of budgets, treasuries and funding and a group of holding companies and SMEs in Saudi Arabia.

High-ranking officials in the financial sector from the GCC countries will attend the summit to discuss the biggest eight challenges facing the sector and to suggest practical solutions.

According to a study carried out by the International Chamber of Commerce, 53% of SMEs that file commercial funding requests are faced with rejection. The study added that the refusal is attributed to not adhering to adequate procedures and not abiding by existing protocols.