Posted on March 13, 2016

ASTAD participated as a Strategic Partner in the 1st government procurement and contracting conference & exhibition in Qatar in support of local small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The three-day event, which started on the 8th of March at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), was organized by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and the Ministry of Finance. It provides a unique opportunity for major public and private institutions to conduct workshops and meetings to spread awareness on the requirements and processes they require for SMEs to partner as a supplier. It is also a platform for the development of potential business relationships between buyers and local suppliers.

ASTAD Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Ali Al-Khalifa commended the exhibition for bringing together business leaders and local SMEs to develop and foster partnerships. He elaborated: "We are honoured to be participating in the 1st Moushtarayat Conference & Exhibition as a strategic partner. The event reinforces our commitment towards the Qatar National Vision 2030 to support the development of a growing private sector, steadily transforming and diversifying Qatar's economy". Eng. Al-Khalifa emphasized the importance of local suppliers and discussed ASTAD's on-going commitment towards local SMEs. "We currently support over 200 existing local SMEs and are taking part in QDB and the Ministry of Finance’s initiative to showcase our procurement procedures to local SME’s, welcoming them into our local supply chain. We aim to continue expanding our use of local SME’s and the Moushtarayat Exhibition is the perfect platform to do so."

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Within their booth, ASTAD highlighted more detailed values of their support towards local SMEs while managing the development of Qatar's most prominent landmarks, showcasing their projects and providing statistics on the percentage of local suppliers used for the development of each project. Some of the projects included were the National Museum of Qatar, Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena; Lusail Sports Arena, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Qatar Science & Technology Park, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Education City Buildings and Infrastructure.

ASTAD introduced the current opportunities they have available for local SME’s in the areas of architecture, civil/structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing & drainage and interior design and has sat down with over 100 local SMEs to discuss possible partnerships. Eng. Al-Khalifa shared local procurement experience through a panel discussion related to national efforts and measurements, best practices, role models, lessons learned and possible policy recommendations. The panel was under the theme ‘Opening Public Procurement to SMEs’ in which he discussed current government initiatives that help ease SME’s access to public procurement as well as ASTAD’s overall involvement with local SMEs throughout all of their projects which exceeded a value of 30%.

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ASTAD’s QA/QC Manager elaborated on the new construction standards within Qatar and stressed that the government needs to develop initiatives to help local SMEs reach these standards. ASTAD is putting immense focus on local SMEs by supporting their efforts to get into the ASTAD preferred vendor list. ASTAD’s Corporate Procurement Director, Head of Procurement, and QA/QC Manager delivered presentations and workshops on how Qatari companies can register with their tendering process to become a supplier of choice with Qatar's leading project management and design consultancy. The purpose of the presentations was to help local SMEs understand ASTAD's requirements and application process, encouraging the local businesses to bid and win contracts with ASTAD.

To find out more about ASTAD's tendering process and qualification requirements, please contact pvl@astad.qa.

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