Business / Economy

China's support for small businesses praised by Arab youth council

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-22 14:27

CAIRO - China was hailed as a role model for its efforts in supporting small businesses at an Arab youth council meeting attended by senior officials of Arab countries to address the economic challenges confronting young people in the Arab world.

"China has set a very good example to the Arab countries in taking advantage of the small businesses to uplift its entire economy," the Arab League's economic advisor, Bahgat Abou al-Nasr, said at a meeting of the Arab Youth Council for Integrated Development, headquartered in Egypt.

Topping the agenda of the conference was the discussion on how to encourage the young Arab people to push their small projects forward amid the obstacles settled by the Arab governments.

Nasr demonstrated in the conference a long presentation about how far the small business projects bolster the Chinese economy.

"Small businesses in China represent 60 percent of the entire economy, while they represent only 16 percent in the Egyptian economy, and 28 percent in the Emirates' ", he added.

In an interview with Xinhua, Nasr stressed the importance of small projects as they create many job opportunities. "The small enterprises reduced job vacancies by 75 percent in China, and we hope the same can be done in Egypt and the Arab world at large."

Some 68 percent of Chinese exports are made through small businesses, while the figure is only 4 percent for Egyptian exports.

Essa al-Suwaidi, owner of a commercial broker company the UAE, attended the conference and shared with young people his own experience of overcoming challenges and realizing his dream of becoming a successful business.

"Firstly I was perplexed and didn't know from where I could start. I knocked all the doors of the officials but no one intended to help me," he said. "For that reason I decided to set up a company to help the young people with their projects."

Suwaidi praised China's friendly environment that encourages the small enterprises to embark on endeavors.

"I stayed in China for many years, and I knew that 82 percent of China's patents are held by small and medium-sized enterprises. "

"China facilitates small investors by deregulating and guiding them to the areas where they can market their commodities," he added, noting that China supports the small entrepreneurs by many favorable policies while over 95 percent applications filed by small projects are refused in Arab countries.

Meanwhile, Yemen's Minister of Youth and Sports Moammar Al- Eryani said in an interview with Xinhua that China must be taken as an example in utilizing the young people's skills.

"I wish there is a council that brings together Arab and Chinese young people to share the experience," he added.

With 19 members, the Arab Youth Council for Integrated Development was founded in 2003 in collaboration with the Arab League Youth Administration with the aim to help Arab young people to grow in various fields.

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