59 percent of commercial records in Saudi Arabia 'inactive'

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Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH
— About 59 percent of commercial enterprises registered in Saudi Arabia remains inactive, according to a report in Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper on Sunday.

A total of about 1.3 million commercial establishments are registered in the Kingdom but only the records of approximately 41 percent of them, or some 500,000, are active, the report said. "This means that 59 percent of the records are inactive," it added.

Bassam Al-Sadiq, assistant deputy governor of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), stressed the role of enterprises in promoting economic growth, diversification and enhancing the economic empowerment of young men and women.

Al-Sadiq explained that the contribution of local SMEs to the Kingdom's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 20 percent, while the global average is 46 percent. He said bridging this gap would result in an increase of SR1.1 trillion in GDP.

Al-Sadiq made the remarks during a workshop at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry entitled "Enhancing the Experience of Haj and Umrah and Identifying the Role of Small and Medium Enterprises". A number of businessmen and investors attended the workshop in the framework of the activities of the Makkah Economic Forum.

Al-Sadiq explained that about 50 percent of innovations and more than 90 percent of the total high-impact innovations have been contributed to the world through small and medium-sized enterprises. He said the share of SMEs in innovation activities in the United Kingdom is 66 percent and in Austria 49 percent.

He pointed out that bureaucracy, finance and market access are at the top of the list of challenges facing the SMEs in the Kingdom.

The workshop referred to the economic activities in which SMEs can participate in the Makkah region and benefit from in order to enrich the experience of Haj and Umrah.

The workshop also highlighted the project of preparing the roadmap for the economic development of the Makkah province, specifically the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

The most important objectives of the roadmap are developing and increasing investment opportunities in the support sectors related to Haj and Umrah, and raising the share of local products in the retail sector.


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