ESCWA kicks off the Arab SMEs Summit in Amman - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Press release

30 Oct 2022

ESCWA kicks off the Arab SMEs Summit in Amman

Beirut, 30 October 2022--In recent years, several emerging issues have posed severe challenges to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Arab region. Overcoming these challenges by providing new opportunities for Arab SMEs is fundamental to expanding and positioning them for future progress and growth. In this context, the Arab SMEs Summit, organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in cooperation with the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO) and other partners, kicked off this morning in Amman, Jordan, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II represented by the Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh.

The Summit, gathering about 650 participants including entrepreneurs, investors, business influencers, political leaders, economists, journalists, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and donors, was inaugurated by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply in Jordan Yousef Alshamali, and UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti.

Alshamali said the small and medium enterprises were of great importance to the global economy in general, and to the local economy in particular as they were crucial elements of the economic activity worldwide, and the main engine of development and economic growth. He added that such meetings were now an urgent necessity, and the Summit came as a cross-border opportunity to help small and medium enterprises in the Arab region to access regional and international markets, learn about various sources of financing, and benefit from regional and international networks.

The Summit, which will be an annual event, will address various topics such as internationalization, global value chains, access to finance, green entrepreneurship, emerging technology trends and practical applications. It also includes an exhibition where nearly 100 SMEs will have the opportunity to connect and share experiences.

For her part, Dashti said the Summit convened amid the challenges facing the region with the aim to build a bridge to connect those looking for opportunities of finance, training and technology access, to those able to provide these opportunities; to link the ambitious to the wealthy and able to invest in them. “The Summit is a bridge between policymakers and decision makers looking to empower our societies, and the available means to achieve their aspirations,” she added.

The Summit will seek to strengthen partnerships and provide opportunities for SMEs to expand by encouraging entrepreneurs, by delivering targeted capacity-building programmes for government actors, and by engaging Arab countries in developing improved SME policy frameworks which promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

The summit concludes on November 1, and is livestreamed on our YouTube channel:



One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.

For more information:

- Ms. Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +961-81-769-888; email:

- Ms. Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879; email:


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