Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar secured QR700mn in public procurement contracts, out of a total of QR2.5bn in 2017, according to Oxford Business Group. This is more than double the QR300mn posted in 2016, OBG said Sunday.
SMEs, OBG noted, could be set for a much more prominent role in Qatar, with the government stepping up efforts to collaborate with local companies as part of broader diversification plans.
Local SMEs were presented with a series of potential business opportunities at the third annual Government Pro-curement and Contracting Conference & Exhibition (Moushtarayat), which was held in Doha in April.
Co-ordinated by the Public Works Authority, Ministry of Finance and Qatar Development Bank (QDB), the event brought together small companies, large firms and government agencies, allowing the public and private sectors to interact, while also providing a platform for state entities to showcase projects open for tender or direct assign-ment.
Moushtarayat 2018 saw more than 2,000 business opportunities with a combined value of around QR6.5bn pre-sented to SMEs, while some 57 different state agencies were represented, covering most areas of public sector activity.
Among the state agencies taking part was the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the authority tasked with delivering infrastructure requirements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In an effort to boost involvement of domestic SMEs in the World Cup, the SC announced it was making available QR700mn worth of opportunities for local companies to provide services in preparing the main stadiums and train-ing facilities for the event.
While only a fraction of the estimated QR60bn total value of projects showcased at the event was dedicated to SMEs, with most being directed to large entities, the SME-focused component represents a significant increase in terms of value when compared to previous years, OBG said.
The increased focus on SMEs highlights the important role they play in the national economy.
Of the 25,000 private sector businesses currently registered, more than 96% are classified as SMEs, Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa, QDB CEO had said earlier.
In light of this, expanding the segment and providing greater opportunities for smaller firms to take part in state-backed projects is seen as a significant source of employment and growth for local businesses.—GulfTimes