With the private sector placed under the spotlight following the economic blockade, more public private partnerships (PPPs) are expected to be forged between government, semi-government, and local companies, an official of Qatar Development Bank has said.
“There is a very effective and serious response from the government side to increase the participation of the private sector and they’re doing that by issuing the new PPP law, which will be issued very soon through the Ministry of Economy and Commerce,” al-Khalifa told Gulf Times.
He was speaking on the sidelines of ‘Buy Local Products’, a QDB-led initiative aimed at encouraging SMEs to expand their local supply in the plastics, iron and steel, aluminium and copper, wood, and general building materials sectors.
Citing initiatives like Moushtarayat and the new PPP law, QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said local companies now have more opportunities to participate in large scale government-funded projects.
In 2016, al-Khalifa said QDB launched the ‘1st Government Procurement and Contracting Conference & Exhibition (Moushtarayat)’ where more than 450 procurement opportunities worth more than QR3bn were offered to Qatar SMEs by government and semi-government agencies.
He said the second Moushtarayat conference held early this year offered more than 2,000 procurement opportunities worth QR2.5bn.
“Taking that into consideration, as well as the current economic blockade, we believe that local companies and SMEs have a golden opportunity to capitalise on this and to be the supplier of choice in the local market,” he pointed out.
Al-Khalifa also stressed that QDB is continuously working to increase private sector participation in Qatar through funding, promotion, and development of manufacturing companies in Qatar.
Asked about funding needs of the local market, al-Khalifa said, “QDB funding has now exceeded QR7.5bn and it keeps growing. What we are currently doing with this initiative is to cater to the requirement of local manufacturers.
“Whenever there is a requirement to increase production, we fund those requirements. We will always be responsive to the needs of the market and whatever the market would request, we will be able to answer.”
On the ‘Buy Local Products’ initiative, al-Khalifa said QDB initially selected five major sectors whose products have a strong demand in the local market.
“We understand that Qatar has many companies that are capable of providing these services immediately to those sectors. This is one of a series of networking events that QDB will be initiating in the months to come to strengthen the link between contractors and suppliers,” he said.
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