Public Works Authority (Ashghal) wants more local manufacturers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in the various infrastructure projects being implemented in the country, an official has said.
Speaking at the launch of ‘Taheel’ on Tuesday, Ashghal president Dr Saad bin Ahmed bin Ibrahim al-Mohannadi said Ashghal’s goal is to use “70% to 80%” of products from local manufacturers.
“This is our goal but we cannot achieve this alone; it also depends on all three stakeholders, mainly Ashghal, Qatar Development Bank (QDB), and the manufacturing companies. We should all work together,” al-Mohannadi told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the event, which was part of QDB’s second installment of its ‘Buy Local Products’ initiative.
He said Taheel gives factories the opportunity to participate in the implementation of Ashghal’s programmes and projects, through enlistment of Qatari manufacturers in the authority’s approved supply chain, in addition to accrediting local industrial products that meet the technical requirements, specifications, and the standard quality levels.
Al-Mohannadi said Ashghal adopted an effective and accessible procedure to enlist, qualify, and accredit national factories. These factories get qualified within three weeks of submitting the application to Ashghal if they meet the technical requirements in terms of quality standards and certifications.
He said Taheel aims to rely on Qatari capacities, resources, industries, and local workforce. It also aims to encourage local businessmen to invest in establishing new factories that contribute to the needs of projects being implemented by Ashghal and other entities.
The launching of Taheel was highlighted by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between al-Mohannadi, QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa, and Ashghal Technical Office manager Ahmed Ali al-Ansari, who delivered a presentation about Taheel and how factories apply and register for the initiative.
Qatari factories can register with Taheel through Ashghal’s website, www.ashghal.gov.qa or at www.ashghal.gvo.qa/taheel. Applications, including the required documents, must be emailed to [email protected]
Once accreditation is confirmed, the factory should get the certificate of accreditation from Ashghal as an approved Qatari factory. Ashghal will also periodically review the approved industrial factories to ensure their constant compliance with the specifications and requirements.
Al-Khalifa said QDB’s role in Taheel is to provide consultancy services to enable factories through feasibility studies, legal services, auditing and accounting services, marketing and public relations services, as well as training, development and qualification to obtain the ISO 9001.
Al-Mohannadi said Ashghal “is working hard to meet the requirements of the next phase in accordance with the priorities set by HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani during his speech about the current situation and Qatar's future directions, with regards to maximising the reliance on national resources and capabilities, achieving self-sufficiency in all fields, and relying on Qatari resources and human potentials.”
He added that products of three local factories have already been purchased, including two sewage pipe factories and a lighting pole factory.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Ashghal director of Drainage Network Design Department Nasser Fakhro said there are about 20 local Qatari companies operating in the field of sewage products with a range of products such as control rooms, electrical control panels, sewage pipes, and lighting poles, among others.
“They represent currently about 20% to 15% and efforts are going on to raise this percentage to a higher level through the initiatives being launched,” he added.
Ashghal president Dr Saad bin Ahmed bin Ibrahim al-Mohannadi and QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa shake hands after signing the MoU. PICTURE: Nasar TK