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Programme launched to accelerate SMEs' growth, competitiveness

By Merza Noghai - Feb 14,2016 - Last updated at Feb 14,2016

Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Maha Ali (3rd from left) attends a ceremony to launch the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation's 'Accelerate with JEDCO' programme in Amman, on Sunday (Photo courtesy of JEDCO)

AMMAN — The Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO) on Sunday launched the "Accelerate with JEDCO" programme, aimed at enhancing the growth and competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The programme is in line with the national strategy for business entrepreneurship and SME development, and it is one of the strategy's executive plans, designed according to the "best international standards" in the field, JEDCO CEO Hana Uraidi said at the launch ceremony.

"Today, we have a national strategy to enhance the Jordanian products' competitiveness... Achieving competitiveness requires adopting programmes that can develop the necessary skills and build on the administrative and productive abilities," Uraidi highlighted.

Relevant studies have found that competitiveness does not entirely rely on lowering production costs and raising the efficiency of operations, quality and production, but also on other skills such as the abilities to connect and change, the CEO added.

The ability to connect, Uraidi explained, is related to enterprises' skills in communicating effectively with international markets and having enough information channels on market trends, legislation, trade volume and agreements, in addition to other data on consumer behaviours.

"As for the ability to change, it is related to certain enterprises' capability to adapt with future market circumstances and effecting the necessary changes to respond to market forces or expectations," she told reporters and other stakeholders and programme partners.

Mais Haddadin, representative of programme partner PERA, identified high growth businesses as those capable of achieving a 20 per cent growth per year over three years.

"Studies have proven that 5 per cent of those SMEs can contribute to 50 per cent of the growth of any country regardless of the sector," Haddadin noted.

In Jordan, around 1 to 3 per cent of the SMEs have potential for high growth, she added.

The initiative is implemented by JEDCO with funding from the European Investment Bank and the Deauville Partnership trust fund, according to the organisers.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Maha Ali said what is different in this programme, to be implemented between 2016 and 2018, is that it is tailored for the targeted SMEs and conforms to international standards.

 

"The programme matches the Jordan 2025 vision to increase the competitiveness of our economic institutions, especially that 98 per cent of these institutions are classified as SMEs," Ali added.

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