IsDB Attends Arab SMEs Summit in Jordan

Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 29 October- 31 October 2022 - The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), represented by Mr. Amer Bukvic, Acting Director General of Global Practices and Partnerships, participated at the Arab SMEs Summit which was held in Amman, Jordan between 29 October 2022 and 31 October 2022.

The Summit, which was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Committee for Western Asia (ESCWA) in cooperation with the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO), aims to help Arab SMEs access regional and international markets, mobilize diverse financial resources, benefit from regional and international networks, and increase their ability to scale up. The Summit is expected to act as a regional platform for national and international leaders from the public and private sectors to advocate inclusive policies and strategies required to support the prosperity of Arab SMEs.

The Summit attendees included political leaders, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurs, investors, and donors to discuss regional and international business opportunities for Arab SMEs. Under the theme “Opportunities beyond borders”, the summit was divided into three sub-themes:

  • Opportunities to Access Markets and Global Value Chains,
  • Financial Opportunities and Green Growth, and
  • Digitization and Disruptive Innovation.

Mr. Bukvic spearheaded IsDB’s participation in the plenary session on “Opportunities Know-How: How Can Arab SMEs Integrate into Global Value Chains” in a session which discussed the optimal ways to enhance ArabSMEs participation in global value chains and their ability to access international opportunities. During this session, Mr. Bukvic gave a presentation on the experiences IsDB has had working with SMEs and highlighted a number of key initiatives IsDB Group has undertaken to support the ecosystem of SMEs in our Member Countries. Mr. Bukvic highlighted the importance of fostering “intra-regional Arab trade by enhancing SME competitiveness through the removal of market access barriers, increasing the role of Arab states in global value chains” through the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) Program which was fostered.

Mr. Bukvic also highlighted the Strengthening the Economic Resilience of Vulnerable Enterprises (SERVE) program which was developed to help build the resilience of SMEs during the COVID pandemic by providing the needed liquidity for their business continuity and job preservation. The idea behind all these initiatives was to “finance the projects that have the highest impact in Member Countries and to ensure the sustainability of SMEs’ business operations through complementary regional partnerships”.