Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar have secured QR700mn worth of public procurement opportunities in 2017 through Qatar Development Bank’s ‘Moushtarayat’, an initiative that provides local SMEs access to large government projects, QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said yesterday.
Al-Khalifa, who spoke at the Dean’s Lecture Series of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, said “almost 97%” of Qatar’s 25,000 private sector establishments are SMEs. “The role that we play in order to enhance the participation of SMEs in our economy is of immense importance to ensure that we could diversify the economy further,” he said.
During his presentation, al-Khalifa said the value of public procurement opportunities awarded to Qatar SMEs in 2017 more than doubled, compared to those in the previous year.
“In 2016, QDB, through Moushtarayat, displayed 450 procurement opportunities worth QR3bn, but only managed to secure QR300mn for SMEs. In 2017, we displayed around 2,000 opportunities worth QR2.5bn and we managed to have QR700mn worth of projects awarded to SMEs,” al-Khalifa said.
‘Moushtarayat’ aims to open new opportunities for the interaction between local SMEs and stakeholders, in addition to strengthening co-operation between the private and public sector companies in Qatar.
Al-Khalifa said the event creates a platform for matchmaking between SMEs and government and semi-government procurement requirements. Through this platform, QDB can explain the requirements and needs of these agencies, and match them with SMEs that can supply that particular demand, he said.
QDB also provides SMEs assistance in terms financial, technical, and advisory support to ensure that these companies are able to meet that demand, al-Khalifa noted.
Al-Khalifa said QDB also launched the Jahiz 1 and Jahiz 2 initiative, which focus on leasing complete and equipped facilities to Qatari SMEs and entrepreneurs to encourage the establishment of innovative and environmentally-friendly businesses.
He said Jahiz 2 is dedicated to the food and beverage (F&B) sector. “We are currently awarding the Jahiz 2 projects, which involve juices from blockading countries that would be produced locally,” he said.
Shortly after the economic blockade, al-Khalifa said QDB immediately assessed the country’s situation and the condition of local producers, who were dependent on the blockading countries for their raw materials.
“We immediately found other sources for their raw materials and we managed to link them with other exporters. At the same time, we were able to conduct workshops and three ‘Buy Local Products’ exhibitions,”
Post blockade, al-Khalifa said QDB is also supporting the ‘Own your Factory in Qatar in 72 Hours’ project, a government initiative aimed at fast-tracking the establishment of more manufacturing companies and factories in the country.
Aside from licensing, the project guarantees qualified investors with land readiness and immediate access to visas, including readiness of industrial infrastructure like water, electricity, gas, and roads, as well as priority for purchases with local manufacturers.
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