*Huge scope for manufacturers of building materials *Public Works Authority's reliance on locally made goods goes up to 70% from 38% in four years
The reliance on main local materials has increased from 38% in 2016 to 70% this year, while the local market has benefited from about QR20bn from infrastructure and building project budgets between 2016 and 2020, Public Works Authority (Ashghal) president Dr Saad bin Ahmad al-Muhannadi has said.
He made the statement on Tuesday during the Supporting Local Manufacturers Forum where he further announced that the value of materials from the local market over the next five years is estimated at QR25.6bn to meet the requirements of future infrastructure projects and buildings.
Ashghal, in co-operation with Qatar Chamber, organised the Supporting Local Manufacturers Forum via video conferencing on Tuesday in the presence of HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari.
The forum was part of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry's efforts to support local industries and enhance the competitiveness of local products at the national, regional and international levels. It offered an opportunity for the private sector and local manufacturers to actively participate in government initiatives, especially Ashghal’s projects, which include the development of schools and health institutions in addition to highways , infrastructure, sewerage and storm water drainage networks, treatment plants and beautification projects.
Besides HE al-Kuwari and al-Muhannadi, the conference was attended by Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Chamber; Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa; CEO of Qatar Development Bank (QDB); and representatives of the government agencies as well as local manufacturers and investors.
“By relying on local materials and manufacturers in most of the authority’s projects and increasing the percentage of the local component, we aim to contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the national industry and diversifying investment activities, and supporting local production activities in the infrastructure and contracting sector to compete with their counterparts globally, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030,” al-Muhannadi said.
The virtual event aimed to encourage reliance on national products in Ashghal’s projects and to encourage local companies to participate in the country’s projects, in addition to introducing Qatari manufacturers to the authority’s projects and their requirements of various materials.
In a presentation, Youssef al-Emadi, Projects Affairs director at Ashghal, said the value of projects signed in July 2020 was QR3.6bn, and the value of opportunities available for local product is QR1.35bn.
Al-Emadi said the total value of the materials required by Ashghal’s infrastructure projects between 2021 and 2025 is about QR32bn, of which, QR24.5bn could be supplied from the local market.
He said local factories and investors can benefit from an additional QR7.5bn by meeting Ashghal’s requirements of the materials that are currently imported, including manhole covers, DI pipes, decorative street light poles, pumps and valves, steel strands- post/pre-tensioning, geotextiles, water proof membrane, barriers, and traffic control devices, among others.
Al-Emadi said 51 buildings projects were implemented over the past five years with a total amount of QR6.1bn with a local component of about 70%. He added that Ashghal plans to implement 43 building projects in the next five years at a total cost of QR4bn.
He called on local factories to benefit from these budgets by establishing factories for elevators, doors, ceramic tiles, floors, fire extinguishing systems, glass, and other basic materials for buildings, which are not currently manufactured in the local market.
Lahdan al-Mohannadi, senior Project Engineering adviser at Ashghal, discussed the Ta’heel initiative launched by Ashghal in 2017 with the aim of supporting local products.
He said Ashghal qualified 150 companies through Ta’heel and that the number of qualified companies “increases significantly every year.” The factories, al-Mohannadi said, provide Ashghal projects with 60 main products manufactured locally.
Al-Mohannadi said through the Ta’heel initiative Ashghal held several seminars and workshops to train and introduce companies to the best working methods, in addition to the visits made by the authority to factories, and its contribution in raising their operational efficiency and raising the standards applied in them.
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