*MEC inks partnership agreement with Al Meera and Bedaya
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC), in collaboration with Al Meera Consumer Goods Company and Bedaya Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (Bedaya Centre), has announced the expansion of its ‘National Product’ initiative through a partnership that will enable local startup companies to showcase and market their food and consumer products in the country’s largest retail outlets, including Al Meera.
The initiative is in line with the ministry’s “leading role in supporting national products”, according to a press statement by the MEC.
The initiative aims to support local startups and entrepreneurs in marketing their products and provides them with easy access to consumers, which contributes to the growth of their companies, development of their businesses and acquisition of expertise, the statement notes.
It also supports the State’s efforts in promoting local products as part of the government’s strategic economic diversification plans aimed at achieving Qatar National Vision 2030.
In line with the first phase of the agreement, Al Meera Consumer Goods will showcase products by nine national companies in a prominent and easy-to-access display area labelled ‘National Products’ at the Al Meera branch in Gulf Mall. The initiative will later expand to include other Al Meera branches across Qatar.
Products and services by startup companies include hospitality and health services, healthy and vegetarian food and beverages, sweets, Arabic coffee, flavourings, spices, nuts, milk and dairy products, popular foods and other miscellaneous products.
The MEC has said co-ordination is under way to introduce and market more products by local startup companies across all branches of Al Meera in Qatar.
Sheikh Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani, Assistant Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs at the MEC, said: “This partnership is an important step in efforts to support national products and encourage startup owners and entrepreneurs to expand their projects and increase production in line with the country's plans to enhance its economic independence and self-sufficiency by relying on its national products and its own capabilities.
“The initiative will enable entrepreneurs, especially owners of small businesses and licensed home businesses, to market their products across major retail outlets and to familiarise consumers with their projects, which enhances confidence in national products. The agreement will also contribute to positioning startups as a pillar for major projects and business ventures that will support the national economy.”
Salah al-Hammadi, executive vice-president of Al Meera, noted: “The National Product initiative comes within the framework of Al Meera's commitment to supporting small and medium enterprises by providing them with an ideal platform through which they can establish a foothold and expand their presence in the market in addition to promoting business partnerships that directly contribute to the diversification of Qatar's national economy. Al Meera’s procurement policy focuses on the supply of goods and services from the local market in line with our strategic decision to be part of local business and community partnerships.”
Reem al-Suwaidi, general manager of Bedaya Centre, added: "We would like to thank the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and Al Meera Consumer Goods for offering entrepreneurs this great opportunity to showcase their products through the National Product initiative, which will enable startup companies to showcase and market their food and consumer products in the largest store chain in Qatar.”
The MEC has invited all licensed local startup companies to participate in the initiative, which will facilitate their market entry as well as the expansion and development of their businesses.
Under the slogan ‘Together to Support National Products’, the ministry had launched the ‘National Product’ initiative in co-operation with major retail outlets to prominently showcase and provide easy access to products bearing the slogan ‘National Product’.
The MEC had also recently formed a committee to protect national products and combat practices that might harm them in international trade, such as dumping, dedicated subsidy and increase in imports.
The ministry had previously launched several initiatives to support small- and medium-sized enterprises and investors, including streamlining procedures and licensing conditions for business centres, granting licences for home business, regulating the work of street vendors and offering 12 investment opportunities to license mobile vendors.