During a panel discussion at Dubai Chamber, Virtuzone Chairman, Neil Petch, addressed the need for solving the banking challenges for SMEs in the UAE.
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry will head a new working group which will be tasked with engaging various public and private sector stakeholders and tackling a variety of banking challenges faced by SMEs, startups, and entrepreneurs in Dubai.
The announcement of the new working group was among the key recommendations outlined by industry experts who participated in a panel discussion recently held as part of Dubai Startup Hub’s Entrepreneurship Advocacy Series.
The event, hosted at Dubai Chamber’s premises, was attended by representatives of the UAE Ministry of Economy, leading UAE banks, heads of licensing authorities, local incubators, startups, and SMEs.
Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is organizing the Entrepreneurship Advocacy Series with the aim of fostering an open and constructive dialogue between various stakeholders, facilitating private-public sector cooperation, and developing practical solutions to existing challenges facing SMEs and startup.
During the event, panelists reviewed the findings of a recent study conducted by Dubai Chamber in coordination with the UAE Ministry of Economy, the UAE’s Council of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and global consultancy firm Roland Berger, and shared their insights on various issues, including access to finance and banking services, regulatory requirements, and the need for digital solutions.
The process of opening a bank account was highlighted as an area that needs improvement as panelists noted that it can take up to three months for SMEs and startups to set up a bank account. Required procedures were described as complicated and lengthy, while the need for better guidance from banks was noted.
The Chairman of UAE company formation specialist Virtuzone explained that opening a corporate bank account can be a challenging process for entrepreneurs in the UAE, which can often lead startups to look elsewhere to set up their businesses.
“We welcome the report’s call to make the account opening process ‘simple, transparent, and fast while meeting compliance needs’. To maintain the UAE’s image as a country that is open for business, we also fully support the Dubai Chamber’s suggestion that banks publish a clear, readily available, step-by-step guide to provide transparency on the banking process, timing, and documents required to open an account,” said Petch.
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