Posted on August 17, 2017

In advance of the third upcoming edition of the widely appreciated “Buy Local Products” exhibition, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and KAHRAMAA (Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) expressing their commitment to lend special support to local companies in Qatar.

The joint agreement between the two Qatari organizations complements the core directive of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for local institutions to continue demonstrating the remarkable spirit of national solidarity and harmony they have showed in recent times. The instrument was signed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), QDB, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa and President, KAHRAMAA, His Excellency Eng. Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari.

The MoU establishes a strong basis for cooperation between QDB and KAHRAMAA based on their mutual ambition to improve the capabilities and competencies of Qatari companies. Integral components of the support the two partners will extend includes guiding local businesses through the technical requirements involved in qualifying for tenders and operations for KAHRAMAA as well as supporting their participation at promotional exhibitions and forums. Relevantly, the upcoming edition of the latest “Buy Local Products” exhibition – which showcases exhibitors from the water, electricity and recycling sectors – is one such example of the promotional support that will be extended to local manufacturers. Furthermore, QDB will also support these SMEs technically and financially, where possible.

Speaking on the occasion of the signing, CEO, QDB, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa said: “We are deeply delighted to partner with KAHRAMAA in the service of our nation’s local business community, our SME ecosystem and our economic sustainability. 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. Now more than ever, the responsibility of upholding our national economic independence is a binding duty on every single individual and organization in Qatar. And as our nation’s enterprises have collectively shown in recent times—this is an obligation that we cherish.”

He continued: “While we have always endeavoured to build the capacity of our local companies, we decided to orchestrate an event that truly answered to the need of the hour with ‘Buy Local Products’. Today, the launch of its third edition comes due to the widespread popularity that the concept of promoting local manufacturers from a diverse range of industries received given the recent changes in trade climate. Qatar-based organizations 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.”

For its part, KAHRAMAA will prioritize contracting local suppliers, nominated by QDB, that successfully demonstrate their compatibility with KAHRAMAA's qualifications, terms and regulations. Furthermore, in case a local SME struggles to comply with the KAHRAMAA’s criteria, both partners will cooperate to educate the concerned local company on the best approaches to addressing the general gaps in their qualification as well as guide them on how to meet the necessary specifications and conditions specified in KAHRAMAA’s tenders and bids in future.

"KAHRAMAA is keen to play its national role as the country's premier energy and water services providers. It is to this end that we have entered into an understanding with QDB to further our common objective of strengthening Qatar's private sector competitiveness," said President, KAHRAMAA, His Excellency Eng. Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari. “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.”

Notably, the last two editions displayed exhibitors who showcased industrial products of the following classifications: general building materials, plastics, aluminum & copper, steel & iron, wood, paper, glass products, detergents, information technology (IT) & equipment and marine sector services.

As an integral part of its growth and empowerment strategy for the local entrepreneurs and SMEs, QDB regularly partners with other Qatari bodies to launch projects that grow the nation's indigenous industries domestically as well as promote Brand Qatar abroad. Earlier this year, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, QDB launched the 2nd Government Procurement & Contracting Conference and Exhibition – Moushtarayat 2017, which sought primarily to localize the supply chain by connect large public-sector organizations with firms operating in the local private sector. Similarly, QDB cooperated with Qatar Chamber to launch the "Made at Home" exhibition, which was designed to strengthen home-based business industry in Qatar.