Saudi-based DCO opens $2trln worth market with Startup Passport initiative

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Ms. Deemah AlYahya launching Startup Passport at LEAP

The Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO), a Saudi-based multinational organization, has launched the DCO Startup Passport at the LEAP event, to make it quicker, easier and less expensive for startups to do business and to expand across markets worth nearly $2 trillion in GDP.

Startups face legal, financial, and administrative barriers when it comes to expanding their businesses across borders, despite significant potential global demand for their solutions, with startups citing more than a year of administrative processes solely to navigate the regulatory processes associated with expanding their offering globally.

Deemah AlYahya
Deemah AlYahya

“Startups are driving forward growth and prosperity for the world and solving the global problems of tomorrow. Countries must work together to offer more integrated and seamless digital regulations for our startups and entrepreneurs. The DCO Startup Passport is an important step in creating the borderless environment entrepreneurs need to prosper, enabling business growth and job opportunities for members. We commend the countries that are piloting the initiative and look forward to the DCO Startup Passport expanding its reach and services in the coming years.”

According to World Bank, startups and Small Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) account for 90 percent of businesses globally and generate seven out of ten jobs in emerging economies, making this a key concern for global economic and societal growth.

The Startup Passport addresses these issues by reducing administrative and financial hurdles, as well as speeding up corporate registration and other processes for entrepreneurs from one DCO member state to the markets of other DCO members.

The passport provides expedited entry and support in the markets of eight DCO countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa. The initiative will be rolled out initially in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Bahrain.

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