UAE tops in internationalization of SMEs

by Constance Van Horne, January 21, 2013

This post provides a condensed exert from the GEM UAE 2011 Report and is copyrighted material of the authors of the report. It can be downloaded here: UAE 2011 GEM Report

If you would like to quote the report or this blogpost please use the following details: 

Van Horne, C., Huang, V., and Al Awad, M. 2012. “UAE GEM Report 2011”, Zayed University, UAE

For small economies such as the UAE, entrepreneurs must look across their borders for bigger markets. An interesting story from the recently published UAE GEM Report is that the country was ranked the highest in its SME's international orientation. That is, a larger percentage of small and medium sized enterprises exported at least some of their products and services than any of the other 23 innovation driven countries which took part in the survey.
 
We know that export intensive businesses generate more economic value for a nation than firms which operate primarily in the domestic market. The UAE is ranked number one among innovation driven economies with regards to the international activities and aspirations of its entrepreneurs. Nearly 4 in 10 entrepreneurs operate internationally, which is close to double the 23 nation average of 19.57%.

When only the Emirati population is taken into consideration, the numbers are still quite high. While the percentages for Emirati entrepreneurs is slightly less than the average for all entrepreneurs surveyed based in the UAE, the percentages would still be significant enough to place the UAE among the top three nations. 

The UAE’s long term strategy is to be known globally as an export based economy driven by small businesses. Although the numbers reflect positively of international activities due to UAE’s long history as a regional trading hub, as well as hosting over 200 of the Global Fortune 500 companies in the Middle East, there is still room to increase the export activity of locally produced manufacturing goods and/or services. 

Disclaimer: this post was originally published on uaestrategy.blogspot.com (link)

 
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