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Gauging with Visa's Social Impact Team SMB digitization and digital policies in the Gulf region

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) across the world are experiencing the benefits of a broad-based digitization of business and the global boom in e-commerce to reach more customers, access new markets, and scale sales and exports. This has been accelerated by the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, underlining the urgency for agility, adaptability, and transformation.

This research produced by Nextrade analyzes how the governments in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have zeroed in on the digital opportunity by developing national digital strategies and matching them with practical activities that promote SMB digitization, e-commerce, and access to finance and markets. These initiatives have the potential to translate into a more robust role for the private sector and SMBs while also enhancing the region’s economic productivity and income growth.

The report is intended to serve as a foundation and catalyst for dialogue across stakeholders on how to advance SMB digital inclusion to foster their growth (from micro to small; small to medium), help them thrive, and make them more effective participants in the emerging business ecosystem. Stakeholders across the GCC have a role to play in scalable capacitybuilding, especially at a time when the world’s gaze focuses on the region to watch, follow, and participate in a major sporting event in 2022.

Games such as FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM not only mobilize athletes, coaches, and fans from around the world, but also bring new commerce opportunities to the region, offering GCC stakeholders – in both the public and private sectors – a powerful convening platform to raise awareness, advocate for the next level of digital inclusion for the region’s SMBs, and leave a positive legacy.


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