Small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, across the Middle East and Africa region are set to ramp up their information technology budgets as they aspire to become engines for economic growth and sustainable job creation.
DUBAI — Small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, across the Middle East and Africa region are set to ramp up their information technology budgets as they aspire to become engines for economic growth and sustainable job creation.
Based on new figures by IT market intelligence specialists IDC, IT spending by SMEs in the region is set to rise from last year’s outlay of $16.73 billion to $24.48 billion by 2015. Most of last year’s financial activity was split between Saudi Arabia (11 per cent), the UAE (nine per cent), Turkey (12 per cent) and South Africa (26 per cent), and this geographic trend is expected to continue in the coming years.
SMEs are regarded as integral to a developed economy and play an essential role in employment generation. In the UAE, more than 80 per cent of the private sector is comprised of SMEs, according to the Ministry of Foreign Trade. With an estimated 200,000 SMEs currently in operation in the UAE, the contribution of this key business sector to the country’s economy is significant. According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, SMEs have become vital to the growth of the UAE economy, contributing 60 per cent of the national GDP in 2011.
Intent on boosting the MEA’s burgeoning SME potential, Gitex Technology Week is officially launching its SME Zone following last year’s successful trial run. Sponsored by Symantec Small and Medium Enterprise, which is an SME Zone Partner, and tailored to maximise return on investment, the new feature will serve as a conduit for SME ICT businesses from the MEA to engage with a high concentration of influential investors. In 2011, C-level executives at Gitex represented a combined ICT budget of $50 billion, and the average order stood at $1.2 million.
As part of the SME Zone, attendees will also have the chance to hear ICT SME success stories and glean insights from a range of carefully selected experts at the International Lounge.
In addition to the SME Zone, Gitex Technology Week will also put a high-profile spotlight on a range of solutions suited to SME enhancement via its Gitex Consumer Tech, Gitex Mobile Apps & Content World, Gitex Card Technology and Gitex Digital Marketing sectors.