Seminar highlights role of digital transformation in SMEs’ growth - GulfToday

Seminar highlights role of digital transformation in SMEs’ growth


Dr Al Falasi spoke about the need to continue investing in modern technologies to enhance the effectiveness of responding to the repercussions of the pandemic. WAM

The Ministry of Economy, UAE and Dubai Chamber, which is the key local partner for the” Grow Stronger with Google” programme, discussed digital transformation in the small and medium enterprise (SME), sector recently, during a webinar in the presence of Dr Ahmed Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises.

The virtual seminar was in line with the launch of “Grow Stronger with Google” programme, which aims to accelerate economic recovery in the Middle East and North Africa region through digital transformation by providing digital tools, training programmes, mentorship and partnerships to support local companies and job seekers. The programme will focus on local companies in the retail and tourism sectors and Dubai Chamber is Google’s main partner in the UAE.

Dr Al Falasi spoke about the need to continue investing in modern technologies to enhance the effectiveness of responding to the repercussions of the pandemic. He stressed the vital role of technology in accelerating the pace of economic recovery and restoring momentum in various sectors, especially retail sales, tourism and hospitality services.

This was stated during his participation in a webinar organised by Google yesterday on digital transformation in the SME sector which also saw the participation of Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Karan Bhatia, Vice President & Head of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google, and Mona Ataya, CEO Mumzworld.

During the panel discussion, Dr Al Falasi further added, “The challenges that the world faces today have proven that investing in technology, innovation and digital transformation is no longer an option, but rather has become imperative to ensure the continuity of competitiveness.” He also remarked how governments and the private sector provide virtual channels of coordination and communication at a time when direct communication is difficult due to the preventive measures in place.

Hamad Buamim said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown companies the importance of investing in creating a digital infrastructure appropriate to the requirements of the market and customers.

He stated that the COVID-19 crisis has produced a new generation of entrepreneurs who have used these challenges to create broad digital solutions for many private sector companies, noting that the crisis has also attracted additional interest by emerging companies from India, China and Africa to come to Dubai and establish a business here.

He pointed out that the partnership with Google has resulted in more than 100,000 companies in Dubai benefiting from this initiative.

Karan Bhatia said, “Online tools and digital skills for everyone will be a catalyst for the comeback. Through ‘Grow Stronger with Google’, we are pledging to help one million businesses and individuals in Mena learn digital skills and grow their businesses by the end of 2021.” Small and medium enterprises form the backbone of the UAE economy, accounting for more than 95 per cent of companies operating in the country.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Tel Aviv Chamber of Commerce, represented by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, have recently signed a strategic partnership agreement that paves the way for bilateral cooperation.

Under the terms of the agreement, both chambers will produce a joint study identifying synergies and sectors of mutual interest; create a roadmap of virtual events; commit to organising a business delegation and mutual visits; host a joint business forum; and support new businesses, startups, and scale-ups with readily available resources and programmes.

Other aspects of the partnership cover the chambers’ current activities, initiatives, and programmes in areas such as research, networking, arbitration, mediation, education, training, women-in-business, best-practices, sustainability and advocacy.

The partnership also brings benefits for the public and private sector across the Middle East region by opening the door for cross-border collaboration across economic fields.

The agreement between the two sides is part of a broader engagement between the UAE and Israel to further peace, dialogue and stability and promote sustainable development.

Hamad Buamim described the agreement as an important development that will build new bridges between the two business communities and establish a framework for bilateral economic cooperation and mutually-beneficial partnerships.

He noted that the agreement reflects the strong commitment of leaders on both sides to collaborate in a wide range of economic sectors, share knowledge and capitalise on mutual business opportunities. It also reflects the openness of Dubai’s economy and the importance its leadership attaches to international cooperation, he said.


Related articles