(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) is planning to spend more than QR5bn on direct purchases from manufacturers in Qatar, expanding the presence of ‘Made in Qatar' products in the local market.
This was announced yesterday during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Qatar Development Bank (QDB) CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa and Kahramaa president Essa bin Hilal al-Kuwari.
The MoU aims to guide local businesses through the technical requirements involved in qualifying for tenders and operations for Kahramaa, and to support their participation at promotional exhibitions and forums.
Aside from promotional support for local manufacturers, QDB will also support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 'technically and financially, where possible. Al-Kuwari said Kahramaa will prioritise QDB-nominated local suppliers that successfully demonstrate their compatibility with Kahramaa's qualifications, terms and regulations.
If a local SME struggles to comply with the Kahramaa's criteria, al-Kuwari said Kahramaa and QDB will guide it in addressing the general gaps in its qualification and in meeting the necessary specifications and conditions required in Kahramaa's tenders and bids.
Al-Khalifa said: 'It is with a great sense of pride and privilege that we rally behind the call of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to demonstrate unwavering unity and support for our industries.
Al-Kuwari added: 'By sifting through a list of recommended suppliers from QDB, all of whom have demonstrated accordance with the technical qualifications and regulations set by Kahramaa, we hope to give leverage to our nation's qualified businesses in open tenders and bids, when and where there is no conflict over the quality of products and services being redeemed.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Kahramaa Technical Affairs director Ahmed Nasser M al-Nasser said Karahmaa had made direct purchases worth 'QR5bn in the past five years from local and international suppliers.
With the agreement, al-Nasser said Kahramaa is planning to spend 'QR5bn or more in the coming years on locally-made materials and equipment.
'Challenges make opportunities…with the current situation, there is a big opportunity for local factories and manufacturers because there is less competition from outside suppliers, al-Nasser told Gulf Times.
Citing advantages including government support, he said Karahmaa's cable requirement 'is almost 100% sourced from Qatari manufacturers like Doha Cable and Qatar Cable. Other products that would be sourced from the local market include switch gears and transformers, he said.
'Only recently, Kahramaa signed two contracts for the supply of transformers and smart metres, al-Nasser said.
Yesterday's signing ceremony also saw the launch of the upcoming third installment of QDB's ‘Buy Local Products' exhibition where products from the water, electricity, and recycling sectors will be showcased.
The previous two editions of ‘Buy Local Products' showcased industrial products like general building materials, plastics, aluminum and copper, steel and iron, wood, paper, glass products, detergents, information technology and equipment, and marine services.
'Qatar-based organisations needed alternate supply solutions and this exhibition series helped satisfy their demands. We are determined to see our upcoming edition of the ‘Buy Local Products' expo series achieve even greater successes than the past two popularly-received exhibitions, al-Khalifa said.
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