The Forum was attended by H.E. Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Qatar Chamber, H.E. Dr. Eng. Saad bin Ahmad Al Muhannadi, President of the Public Works Authority, H.E. Mr. Mohammed Hassan Al Malki, Assistant Undersecretary for Industry Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Sheikh Mohamed bin Twar Al Kuwari, First Vice-Chairman of Qatar Chamber, H.E. Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani, Board member at the Qatar Bussinessmen Association, H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Ahmed Al Thani, Board Member at Qatar Chamber, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank. The forum was also attended by representatives of the concerned entities, Ashghal affairs directors and department managers, a number of Qatari manufacturers, as well as a number of Ashghal’s Qatari contractors.
H.E. Mr. Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, Qatar Chamber Chairman said in his speech during the “Supporting Local Manufacturers Forum” that Qatar has witnessed a massive breakthrough in the projects it’s implementing in order to develop its infrastructure as well as the projects related to the preparation to host the 2022 World Cup, these huge projects need to provide a lot of materials and devices to complete according to the required standards and metrology, pointing out that this breakthrough in projects, provides a great opportunity for factories and local companies to provide the required materials of building materials and others used in the completion of these projects, which contributes to enhancing their competitiveness and the development of their products according to the international standards and also reach global markets.
H.E. stressed the importance of empowering national industries and local products to be the best option for governmental entities in implementing mega projects in the country and through public tenders that are offered, especially as they have the appropriate experience and advanced technology that enables them to participate effectively in the major projects that are being implemented in the country according to the highest international standards, expressing his full confidence that the Qatari private sector and local factories are able to contribute in addressing the needs of the projects implemented by Ashghal, thus enhancing the true partnership between the public and private sectors.
Qatar Chamber Chairman pointed out the importance of organizing the ‘Support Local Manufacturers Forum’ in introducing current and future projects organized by Ashghal to provide an opportunity to support Qatari manufacturers and local suppliers to increase their contribution to these projects, as well as suggesting proposals that encourage investors to invest in industry and establish new factories that meet the requirements of these projects, expressing his gratitude to the Public Works Authority for organizing this forum in cooperation with Qatar Chamber, and its initiatives aimed at providing the opportunity to local companies and factories to participate in the implementation of their programs and projects, both current and future, this confirms that the Authority’s vision is fully consistent with Qatar Chamber’s vision on the importance of relying on Qatari capabilities and products, increasing the participation of Qatari factories in the country’s development projects, and encouraging investors to invest in the construction of new factories that contribute to the requirements of current and future state projects.
During his speech, H.E. Dr. Saad bin Ahmad Al Muhannadi, President of the Public Works Authority, said: “Based on directives from H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the Supporting Local Manufacturers Forum was held today to involve Qatari manufacturers in all stages of projects implementation.”
H.E. added: “The reliance on main local materials has increased from 38 to 70 percent from 2016 to 2020. The local market has benefited from about QR 20 billion from infrastructure projects and buildings budgets over the past five years.” H.E. also stated that the value of materials from the local market during the next five years is estimated at QR 25.6 billion to meet the requirements of buildings and infrastructure projects.
About the importance of these efforts, H.E. the President of Ashghal said: “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, in order to compete with their counterparts globally, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030″.
H.E. President of Ashghal pointed out the importance of the role played by Qatar Chamber as a representative of the business community and as a key partner in the coordination between manufacturers and various entities in the country, and its effective contribution to the development of administrative and technical cadres in all economic fields of the country.
Mr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Qatar Development Bank CEO, added, in a comment about the forum and the efforts made by Qatar Development Bank to support the Qatari manufacturer, saying: ” Qatar Development Bank strategy works to support Qatari manufacturers and open local markets to them, QDB is keen to translate these plans through a series of various programs and initiatives such as the leasing complete and ready- to-operate industrial facilities “Jahiz 1 and Jahiz 2” initiative to help them turn their ideas into tangible goods and products, as well as the “Business Localization” service to identify business opportunities and investments from government, semi-governmental and private entities, organizing exhibitions and conferences that contributes to the communication with major buyers. We aspire to continue emphasizing our strategy through these platforms that serve the country’s objectives of self-sufficiency and diversification of the economy in line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030.”
During the presentation, Engineer Lahdan Al Mohannadi, Senior Project Engineering Advisor at Ashghal, referred to Ta’heel initiative launched by Ashghal in 2017 with the aim of supporting the local product, stating that the authority has qualified 150 companies through this initiative and that the number of qualified companies increases significantly every year. These factories provide Ashghal projects with 60 main product that is manufactured locally, including materials that used to be imported from abroad in the past, such as street lighting poles and luminaires, drainage pipes, directional signs, traffic safety elements, electrical cables, irrigation materials and park construction supplies.
Eng. Lahdan also pointed out the role played by the authority through Ta’heel initiative, where it 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.
For his part, Eng. Youssef Al Emadi, Projects Affairs Director at Ashghal, said: “The Supporting Local Manufacturers Forum is an opportunity to share information with Qatari manufacturers and clarify the economic feasibility of establishing new factories, in addition to demonstrating the optimal investment opportunities needed by the local market,” noting that the forum is a platform for communicating with manufacturers to provide them with more support on one hand and support their communication with Qatari contractors on the other.
He also explained that the role played by Ashghal and the government concerned entities with the aim to support local manufacturing and increasing the use of the local component in projects has an important role in expanding the country’s industrial base, building capabilities and manpower in the fields of engineering, industry, management, quality and creating job oportunities through local investments.
Eng. Youssef Al Emadi also gave a presentation during the forum in which he showcased the increase in reliance on the local product by Ashghal during the period between 2016 and 2020, as the value of the local component in Ashghal’s infrastructure projects during 2016 amounted to QR 2 billion, and QR 2.5 billion in 2017, 3 billion in 2018, 5 billion in 2019, and 6 billion during the first eight months of 2020.
Eng. Youssef Al Emadi pointed out that the value of the projects signed in July 2020 was QR 3.6 billion, with the value of opportunities available for the local product QR 1.35 billion.
Eng. Al Emadi said: “We aspire to increase the local component in our projects and encourage the market to manufacture the materials that are imported at the present time.” He also pointed out that the total value of the materials required by Ashghal’s infrastructure projects between 2021 and 2025 is about QR 32 billion, of which QR 24.5 billion can be supplied from the local market. Al Emadi indicated that local factories and investors can benefit from what is worth an additional QR 7.5 billion by meeting the authority’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, and others.
Al Emadi also pointed out that 51 buildings projects were implemented over the past five years at a total cost of QR 6.1 billion with a local component of about 70 percent. He added that Ashghal plans to implement 43 buildings projects in the next five years at a total cost of QR 4 billion, and 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 manufactured in the local market at the moment.
During the event, several manufacturers praised the forum and noted that their participation in meeting the needs of the country’s projects helps their factories achieve a competitive advantage and their eligibility to enter global markets in the future, which will contribute to the development of the national economy and raise the level and quality of projects implementation.
Discussions call for activating the law that gives 10% priority for local products
HE Sheikh Khalifa affirmed that the Chamber would combine all questions and enquiries it receives from investors and suppliers about Ashghal’s projects to the Authority, pointing out that both parties would cooperate in organizing another expanded forum during the period ahead.
QC First Vice Chairman HE Mohamed bin Twar called on formulating clear vision for industry sector, noting that the Qatari market is still limited and therefore exports insurance must be applied so that local factories can compete and pursue development.
QC Board Member Eng. Ali bin Abdullatif Al Misnad said that the number of factories in Qatar is increasing makes it important to study the possibility of merging and acquisitions not only in the industrial sector, but also in other economic sectors such as the transport sector, which includes thousands of companies.
For his part, QC Board Member Mohamed bin Ahmed Al Obaidli underscored the importance of activating the law which gives national products a 10% preference over similar foreign products.
QC Board Member Dr Khalid bin Klefeekh Al Hajri called for the law that ensures the priority for local products.
Bin Twar: Forum aims to include local manufacturers in Ashghal’s supply chains
On his part, QC First Vice Chairman HE Mohamed bin Twar Al Kuwari said in statement that the objective of the forum is to help local manufacturers enter to supply chains of Ashghal’s future projects and stimulate businessmen to invest in industry sector.
HE also noted that introducing Ashghal’s projects provide the opportunity for local manufacturers and suppliers to participate in these projects.
“The forum represents an important platform that brings together local industrial companies willing to participate in the state’s projects to learn more materials and products needed for these projects. This will encourage them to set up industrial projects that meet the needs of these projects,” he pointed out.
Twar paid tribute to “Taheel Initiative” which aims to qualify local manufacturer, list local manufacturers in the supply chain approved by the Authority and approve local industrial products that comply with technical requirements and specifications.