Enterprise development

Reform of the business environment in the Arab States

Two Arab States — Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) — have completed their own EESE assessments.

In 2009, the Office of the Prime Minister of the Palestine Authority (PA) approached the ILO Regional Office for the Arab States for assistance in preparing a policy framework for the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and two reports were produced. The first was an Assessment Report, which presented the results of a qualitative and quantitative assessment of Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the oPt.

The second report entitled “An MSME Policy Framework” presented a coherent integrated response policy to the challenges and opportunities facing existing and emerging MSMEs. The report also outlined the role of the PA and the manner it would work with its social partners. The proposed policy also contained an official definition of the MSME sector, something that was lacking in the oPt.

In Iraq the ILO and the United Nations Office for Project Services collaborated under the Private Sector Development Programme in Iraq in an effort to create a comprehensive framework for private sector development. The ILO provided technical advice and policy reform training to government officials and other social partners, sponsored and guided two national surveys of more than 4,000 MSMEs and produced guidance resources for all relevant and interested stakeholders. In 2012, the ILO worked with relevant social partners to produce a draft MSME Policy and MSME Law.