Private sector entities, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in Qatar spent QR39bn on public projects in the last nine months, indicating the efficacy of the government’s ‘centralisation of policies and decentralised implementation’.
"Entities under the tenders and auction law have spent QR39bn over the past nine months on public projects, which have been awarded to private companies and institutions, including SMEs," Finance Minister HE Ali Sherif al-Emadi told the second edition of Qatar Development Bank (QDB)-sponsored government procurement and contracting conference 'Moushtrayat', which began in Doha on Thursday.
The conference was inaugurated by HE the Deputy Premier and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud.
The government has taken several initiatives to provide a congenial environment for expanding SMEs' contribution to infrastructure, services and public utilities to encourage and enhance the private sector participation in the country’s economic development plan at all levels, he said.
"Qatar is moving towards supporting economic activities in non-oil sectors while enhancing the private sector's role in implementing a wide range of development projects," he said, stressing the country's keenness to enhance competition, transparency and efficiency in the sovereign agencies’ contracting procedures through the new tenders and auctions law.
The government has taken many legislative measures aimed at providing various facilities and incentives for local and foreign investments and encouraging the private sector to contribute effectively to support growth in various non-oil sectors, considering financial and administrative control rules are in line with openness, equality, justice and transparency principles.
"The government has adopted and developed modern management methods, which rely primarily on centralisation of policies and decentralised implementation, in order to diversify the Qatari economy's structure, expand the role of the private sector and encourage private initiatives aimed at exploiting the available capabilities, especially in the industry and trade sector," al-Emadi said.
Qatar's economy is currently witnessing a "significant" momentum in the implementation of development projects, he said, adding it clearly shows the continued rise in allocations for major projects in the budget and opportunities for public-private partnerships.
Moushtrayat aims to demonstrate the ability of national SMEs to compete in a highly professional way to execute local market tenders, while ensuring high performance standards and providing companies with opportunities to network with several buyers from the government, semi-government and private sector.
"It (Moushtrayat) aims at spreading a culture of co-operation among exhibitors from the government and semi-government sectors, private companies as well as SMEs, that face great difficulties in accessing bid opportunities," QDB chief executive Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said.
The conference seeks to complement the efforts being exerted by the Ministry of Finance to pave the way for the SMEs to communicate directly with the buyers of services or products, he added.