Digital Solutions for Small Businesses in the Middle East and North Africa

2020-09-22T13:45:41-04:00September 22, 2020|

By Inutu Lukonga

عربي, Français

Small and medium-sized enterprises dominate the business landscape in the Middle East and North Africa region. These enterprises account for more than 90 percent of the region’s businesses and, in some countries, contribute as much as 50 percent of employment and 70 percent of GDP.

Yet they face impediments to growth, and their contribution to employment is below potential. In much of the region, small and medium-sized enterprises are handicapped by limited access to credit, unfavorable business environments, and talent gaps.

Digital technologies present new opportunities for these businesses to achieve faster growth. Emerging technologies and broadband internet can facilitate operational efficiencies, innovation, access to markets and finance, and can enable firms to operate remotely during lockdowns. The flexibility of remote working can help integrate women and youth in the labor market.

But so far, small and medium-sized enterprises in the region have been slow to embrace digital technologies and e-commerce, and businesses trail governments and consumers in internet usage.

As consumers rapidly shift to online shopping and increasingly prefer rapid and convenient services, smaller businesses will need to adopt digital solutions to remain competitive and survive.

Because small and medium-sized enterprises […]

Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20

2019-03-13T16:33:37-04:00July 18, 2018|

By Christine Lagarde

July 18, 2018

Versions in عربي中文Español, Français 日本語, Português, Русский 

Cars to be shipped abroad, Jiangsu, China: trade tariffs have gone into effect and export orders have decreased (photo: Imagine China/Newscom)

The artist Claude Monet once said, “I worked without stopping, for the tide at this moment is just as I need it.” As the Group of Twenty finance ministers gather this week at the banks of the Rio de la Plata in Buenos Aires they should be inspired by the words of Monet, […]

Creating a Better Global Trade System

2019-03-14T11:44:23-04:00May 29, 2018|

By Christine Lagarde

May 29, 2018

Versions in عربي, 中文FrançaisBaˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語, PortuguêsРусский    

Engineers inspect the 3D printing of a bicycle frame in California: trade in services has risen dramatically and the use of technology is changing how countries trade with each other (photo: Stephen Lam/Reuters /Newscom).

Recent news on global trade has tended to focus on protectionist measures and diplomatic tensions. These challenges have raised concerns over growth and jobs across the world. […]

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