Small businesses secured QR 189 million worth of contracts in 2022, says Ashghal official

Small businesses in the construction sector in Qatar were awarded contracts worth QR 189 million ($51.9 million) in January 2022 under the Works Authority’s Ta’heel initiative public (Ashghal), an official said.
“We expect to award additional contracts worth QR 120 million ($32.9 million), Chairman Ashghal Saad bin Ahmad al-Muhannadi said in an interview with Oxford Business Group (OBG), which was published in its ‘The Report: Qatar 2022’.
The Ta’heel initiative was launched in 2018 with the aim of helping small businesses to be competitive in the local market, as well as in the global market in the longer term. It also provides support to new entrepreneurs through training on best practices in project implementation, the report further explains.
Through Ta’heel, Ashghal is able to provide ongoing support to small Qatari entrepreneurs working on road improvement projects, creating an environment conducive to local business growth, according to al-Muhannadi.
“By relying on local materials and manufacturers for most of the authority’s projects, the increased opportunities are expected to strengthen the competitiveness of local industry over time,” said al- Muhannadi at OBG.
He said the share of local primary materials used in Qatar has increased from 38% in 2016 to 70% in 2020. The local market has benefited from around QR 20 billion ($5.5 billion) of investments in infrastructure projects and construction works since 2017, he noted. .
“Between 2022 and 2027, the value of local materials needed for these upcoming projects is estimated at QR 25.6 billion ($7 billion),” al-Muhannadi also pointed out.
Regarding Ashghal’s efforts to raise environmental and social standards in the construction sector in Qatar, al-Muhannadi said that in 2022, Ashghal received ISO 45001:2018 certification for its health and safety management system. occupational safety and ISO 14001:2015 certification for the authority’s environmental management system.
Al-Muhannadi stressed that Ashghal is committed to adopting high standards in environmental protection, recycling, health and sustainability in all programs and projects.
He said the promotion and compliance with environmental and social standards is a key objective in line with the efforts of various institutions to achieve the goals set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030.
“To this end, the Global Sustainability Rating System is being implemented in public education and healthcare buildings, while in 2020, Ashghal highway and road projects used strong proportion of recycled materials, exceeding the 20% target set by the national development strategy.
“At the same time, Qatari companies are empowered to expand their participation in local infrastructure projects, which contributes to job creation and human capital development,” al-Muhannadi said.
Regarding the Qatari law on public-private partnerships (PPP), al-Muhannadi noted that PPPs play a vital role in the development of the private sector and will be an important mechanism for future projects.
Al-Muhannadi said Ashghal was extending the PPP model to its upcoming projects, in line with Qatar’s efforts to increase local and international private sector participation in the country’s plans. Under the PPP law, he said feasibility studies have been coordinated with relevant government entities for certain works.
“We are also working with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to implement Qatar’s PPP School Development Program, which will follow international PPP best practices.
“As part of the first phase of the program, in 2021, Ashghal has signed contracts for the construction of eight new schools. A total of 47 new schools are expected to be built with the help of private sector participation by 2027,” he said.
Al-Muhannadi added, “These projects will benefit from the experience of the private sector in project management and implementation, and knowledge sharing between the two sectors will be facilitated. The program will also encourage best practices and efficiency, in addition to supporting economic diversification.

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