Abu Dhabi: The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) hosted a UAE-Japan seminar on support systems and regulatory measures that make up the foundations for a thriving SME sector in Japan.

UAE Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori welcomed Kanji Fujiki, Japan’s Ambassador to the UAE, and a delegation of high ranking officials from the Japanese Government and banking sector.

One of the most important areas of the UAE’s national agenda is the support and development of SMEs, which have been identified as vital to the UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy, increasing the share of private non-energy sectors in employment and growth. In the Japanese domestic economy, SMEs play a considerable role, representing 70 per cent of all employment, over 99 per cent of all enterprises and 50 per cent of value added in the manufacturing sector, rising to 60 per cent in non-manufacturing.

“SMEs are crucial for ensuring sustainable inclusive growth, innovation and job creation in the UAE. We therefore need to create a supportive regulatory environment and a complementary wider supporting ecosystem that enable SMEs to flourish. Part of this is to draw on the experiences of other leading economies, such as Japan, and adopt the most effective measures and policies for the UAE market,” said Al Mansoori.

During the seminar, Japan’s Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) gave an overview of the SME environment in Japan and presented the country’s approach to establish effective Credit Guarantee System, Loan Guarantee Support System, Credit Risk Database (CRD) and Investment Fund Scheme. Representatives from the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) also gave a detailed presentation on SMBC’s support experience for SMEs in ASEAN and Myanmar, how to organise viable financing structures, secure funding resources and upgrade related laws and regulations.