The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) highlighted the crucial role of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in global trade during the lively SME Event at the 13th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, hosted by Abu Dhabi from 26 to 29 February 2024.

The event brought together stakeholders of diverse backgrounds including local and international SMEs engaged and interested in trade and export opportunities, international organisations, strategic government entities and partners as well as economists, academics, and media to discuss key aspects and pressing issues in the regulatory, trade, and business landscape of SMEs.

The discussions and interactive sessions on SMEs and global trade provided an opportunity to participants to enhance visibility, discuss trade policies and agreements, know about the latest regulatory developments relevant to trade and SMEs, and engage with global and local players in diverse sectors.

During the event, ADDED highlighted impact of its initiatives and programmes in enhancing the business ecosystem which enables SMEs to benefit from ample opportunities to thrive, grow and expand from Abu Dhabi. 

In his opening speech, His Excellency Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED said: “We are committed to supporting the growth of SMEs and have set forth a greater vision to support their development and success. This reflects the vital contribution of SMEs in our transition to a smart, inclusive, diversified, and sustainable economy”.

“By advocating for their needs, providing capacity-building initiatives, and creating networking opportunities, we strive to unlock the full potential of SMEs to create more jobs, develop new innovations, and contribute positively to the next phase of economic diversification”.

The ADDED’s SME event at 13th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference offered valuable insights into the role of SMEs in global trade and set the stage for collaborative efforts to enhance the SME ecosystem. The event included insightful sessions, workshops and masterclasses on innovation, digital transformation, globalisation export opportunities and challenges, as well as the transition towards a green economy, inclusion, equity, and diversity, and access to finance and cross border payments. SMEs comprise around 98% of businesses in Abu Dhabi and they employ over 46% of the workforce, while contributing more than 42.8% to Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP.

Mrs. Mouza Obaid Al Nasri, Executive Director of SMEs Sector at ADDED, said: “This event is part of our ongoing efforts to empower SMEs with their growth journey. With mega trends shaping our global economy, international trade will provide promising opportunities to SMEs”.


“We have launched many programmes to address challenges faced by SMEs to enhance their access to finance, and to elevate their export capacities through a comprehensive approach that includes raising awareness about opportunities, conducting assessments on export readiness, addressing gaps through upskilling, and supporting the scaling of operations to meet the demands of international markets”.
Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.