The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2018

Interim Assessment of Key SME Reforms

image of The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2018

This report provides an in-depth analysis of major reforms undertaken between 2014 and 2018 to promote micro, small and medium-sized enterprise development in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority and Tunisia. The report focuses on five strategic areas for SME policy making: SME definitions, statistics and institutions; improving business environments for SMEs and entrepreneurs; fostering access to finance; nurturing start-ups and SME growth; and the development of entrepreneurial human capital.

The report aims to showcase good practices and to point to areas where more efforts are needed. It provides valuable guidance for governments, private sector organisations, multilateral bodies and other stakeholders to intensify their efforts to support SMEs as essential vehicles for jobs and competitiveness. This is particularly relevant in a region striving to boost economic diversification, employment creation and the inclusion of youth and women in the economy.

The report is the result of a process of close collaboration among governments, the OECD, the European Training Foundation and the European Commission.

English Also available in: Arabic, French

Improving the business environment for SMEs and entrepreneurs

Business laws and regulations need to serve the public interest without placing undue burdens on private enterprise. This chapter focuses on key reforms and actions since 2014 in terms of administrative reform and simplification, the operational environment for business creation, and bankruptcy laws and procedures. The interim assessment finds that several MED economies are working towards establishing formal mechanisms for regulatory impact analysis – although not yet through the implementation of an SME test. The interim assessment also notes increasing efforts to facilitate procedures for enterprise creation, particularly through the introduction of single identification numbers and online registration, to different degrees. Key recommendations from the chapter are as follows: 1. MED economies could step up their efforts to introduce ex ante and ex post regulatory impact analysis (RIA) – especially those that have not yet established a comprehensive committee and strategy to improve the business environment. Governments could also introduce the SME test, which is still absent in the MED region.2. There are laudable efforts to facilitate the creation of new firms by introducing online portals and single identification numbers when dealing with different organisations. These efforts could be taken a step further by reinforcing the role of one-stop shops in the facilitation of business registration. 3. Those economies that have reformed their insolvency legislation could support the implementation phase closely, particularly through training programmes supporting professionals working in the judiciary and related occupations.

English Also available in: French

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