Small and medium-sized enterprises in Dubai will soon get more support to expand to new markets as a result of a new partnership between Dubai SME, a public entity, and logistics comany DHL.

Under an agreement signed this week, the two parties will co-launch a new programme that will support business growth by facilitating logistics for SMEs in Dubai.

DHL will offer discounted freight charges as well as access to smart shipping solutions to members of Dubai SME and companies rated under its RATE Framework, which provides a comprehensive review of SME performance based on financial and non-financial criteria. The RATE Framework is aimed at offering benefits for SMEs through partnerships between the public and private sector.

The logistics company will also provide specialised workshops and training programmes on international expansion, helping business owners to identify the best growth strategies and optimise logistics solutions to efficiently serve their target markets.

The partnership will focus on various sectors, in particular retail and food and beverage.

In a statement, the CEO of Dubai SME, Al Janahi, says the collaboration will help eliminate obstacles faced by many companies when wanting to export to markets overseas: “The logistics sector plays a lead role in driving sustainable growth in Dubai and the UAE. Through our partnership with DHL, Dubai SME aims to promote best practices among SMEs and empower them for competing with large enterprises in overseas markets.”

Geoff Walsh, general manager of DHL in the UAE, adds: “Joining with Dubai SME will allow growing businesses the chance to look at their options for further expansion and reach new markets across the globe.”

Dubai SME is an agency of Dubai’s department of economic development. Since it started in 2002, 23,109 entrepreneurs and 4,152 start-ups in the UAE have participated in its programmes. According to the agency, around 190,000 companies in Dubai fall under the SME category, and make up around 95% of total businesses.