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Key facts of GCC’s USD 15.6 billion SME sector

October 2016

October 17, 2016 | 9:30 | Dubai

The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) announced that there were approximately 13995 SMEs in the GCC in 2015. In details, GOIC counted 11288 small and 2707 medium enterprises that added up to form 82.9% of the total 16890 manufacturing factories in the GCC.

GOIC’s 2015 statistics revealed that about 15.6 billion USD were invested in the SMEs sector, the equivalent of 4% of the total industrial investments in the GCC valued at 393.7 billion USD.

According to GOIC, an enterprise is considered small if less than 2 million USD are invested, medium if between 2 million and 6 million USD are invested and large if 6 million USD and more are invested.

GOIC’s data revealed that in 2015, SMEs’ share of the total manufacturing factories was about 82.8%; they employed approximately 44.3% of the total labour force despite the limited investments (4% of the total manufacturing industries investments).

In terms of labour force, SMEs employed around 721399 individuals (about 44.3% of the total manufacturing industries labour force that counts 1.6 million workers). In details, 28.7% of the 44.3% were employed by small enterprises while the remaining 15.6% were hired by medium enterprises.

According to GOIC, SMEs operate in all industrial fields but are mainly focused in the areas of construction metals, transportation and other industrial activities where 3369 factories were counted (about 24% of the total number of SMEs); followed by the manufacture of non-metallic products, i.e. building materials, that counted around 2316 factories in 2015 (16.5% of the total SMEs); then the manufacture of rubber and plastic products (11% of the total SMEs); food and beverages (10.9%), and other industrial activities.

As to the accumulated capital in 2015, the results were as follows: the manufacture of construction metals, transportation and other industrial activities ranked first with 3.4 billion USD worth of investments (about 22% of the total investments in SMEs), followed by the manufacture of building materials with about 3.2 billion USD worth of investments (21% of the total investments in SMEs), food and beverages (1.9 billion USD or 12% of the total investments), rubber and plastic products (1.7 billion USD or 10.9% of the total investments), followed by the remaining industrial activities.

In terms of labour force, the manufacture of construction metals, transportation and other industrial activities were at the top with about 187000 workers or 25% of the total SME labour force, followed by the building materials with 125000 workers or 17.3% of the total SME labour force, then food and beverages (75000 workers or 10.4%), rubber and plastic products (72000 or 10%) and other industrial activities.

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