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Entrepreneurs pillars of growth: expert.

Entrepreneurs are the pillar of economic growth and play a cruicial role in investment opportunities creation in the GCC region, said a senior executive.

Speaking at the CFA Institute's 'Middle East Investment Conference,' which concludes today (April 10) in Dead Sea, Khaled Sifri, chief executive officer of Emirates Investment Bank, highlighted the positive sentiment among GCC-based entrepreneurs towards economic prospects in the region.

A recent study commissioned by the EIB revealed higher levels of confidence among GCC investors in the regional markets, reflected by increasing appetite to invest in assets closer to home rather than globally.

"A large proportion of entrepreneurs in the GCC are looking to re-invest and even boost investments in their own businesses over the coming few years," said Sifri.

"Governments and financial institutions should be encouraged to help them obtain the needed access to both practical and financial resources," he noted.

In his session titled 'The GCC Investor: Trends and Insights for 2014,' Sifri shed light on a number of initiatives that were launched by governments in the region, which resulted in creating more flexible yet supportive environments that facilitate growth opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurs.

"In light of the clear confidence from investors in the region's growth, there is always room for further support. There are over one million SMEs in the GCC according to International Finance Corporation; SMEs in the Gulf alone are likely to contribute an additional $100 billion to the region's GDP with a potential to create up to two million jobs," he said.

"These staggering forecasts underpin the need for supportive legislation, easier access to capital and more encouraging incentives so SMEs can continue to reach their true potential and propel economic growth."

Sifri asserted that the investment trends in the Gulf region are likely to continue over the coming few years.

"Gulf markets appear to be back, and we have started to feel the readiness of regional investors to take on more risk as confidence grows. GCC HNWIs are more interested in wealth accumulation, rather than simply preservation, and we expect entrepreneurs, who make up a large proportion of HNWIs in the Gulf region, to lead this movement as they are looking for opportunities to grow their wealth and businesses," he added. - TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Apr 10, 2014
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