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Enhance the competitiveness of the Arab SMEs in the knowledge economy

Alasrag, Hussien (2010): Enhance the competitiveness of the Arab SMEs in the knowledge economy.

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Due to their increasing importance to production growth and vital relation with various productive sectors in society, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have become one of the key instruments to face economic and social problems and achieve development objectives in most industrial and developing countries. Statistics show that SMEs represent 90% of total companies in the vast majority of economies worldwide and provide 40-80% of total job opportunities in addition to contributing largely to GDPs of many countries. For example, they constitute about 99% of the total private business, non-agricultural in Egypt, and contribute about 80% of the total added value produced by the private sector, with about two-thirds of the labor force and three-quarters of workers in special functions outside the agricultural sector. for Kuwait, this sector constitutes approximately 90% of the private workforce, including labor and imported an estimated 45% of the labor force, employment and national rates of less than 1%, in Lebanon, more than 95% of the total enterprises, contribute about 90% of the jobs. In the UAE , small and medium enterprises accounted about 94.3% of the economic projects in the country, and employs about 62% of the workforce and contributes around 75% of the GDP of the state. In addition, they account for 96% of the GDP in Yemen in 2005, and about 77%, 59%, 25% in Algeria, Palestine and Saudi Arabia, respectively, during the same year , while the contribution of these projects range between 25% -40% of the GDP of Egypt.This research aims to study enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium business enterprises in the Arab Countries under the knowledge economy in the light of the growing interest in it, through identification of the concept and importance of small business enterprises for the Arab States, the most important challenges facing development, and finally the research tries to propose a number of policy recommendations to develop and activate this important sector in the Arab countries under the knowledge economy.

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