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Dubai Expo 2020 to allocate AED5 billion of contracts to SMEs

posted on 30/08/2016: 1928 views

Dubai has announced that 20 per cent of direct and indirect spending on the Expo 2020 event will be allocated to small and medium enterprises.

Under the plans, contracts worth more than AED5 billion will be allocated to local and international SMEs in the coming years, EXPO 2020 said in a press release.

The landmark announcement is the latest in a series of SME-focussed operational and legacy driven initiatives that have emerged as the result of Expo 2020 Dubai's belief in the important role that SMEs have to play in contributing towards the effective and innovative delivery of an exceptional World Expo for both participants and visitors, as well as the UAE's wider diversification efforts.

Commenting on the announcement, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Bureau Expo Dubai 2020, said 2,418 of the 6,196 suppliers registered on the government's e-sourcing portal [ ] were SMEs.

The portal serves as the primary gateway to the vast majority of Expo 2020 Dubai procurement operations. In addition to announcing upcoming tenders, the portal also details awarded packages relating to both goods and services, providing further possibilities for integration into the supply chain through indirect procurement and collaboration. It is also a valuable platform for registrants to receive information around upcoming knowledge-sharing and networking events, including the BusinessConnect series of workshops and seminars.

Of the 787 contracts awarded so far, 320 have been won by SMEs, she added.

"SMEs are already playing a central role in the UAE's drive towards cultivating a thriving private sector and diversified economy, which makes SME empowerment a strategic priority for the government," Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the UAE SME Council, said.

"This effort is also aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 to transition to a knowledge-based economy that fosters creativity and innovation."

The country's Federal Law No 2, introduced in 2014, stipulates that 10 per cent of all federal government contracts are allocated to SMEs.

In addition, firms in which the government owns a 25 per cent stake must contract SMEs for at least 5 per cent of their total purchasing, servicing and consulting needs.

SMEs are estimated to comprise almost 94 per cent of companies operating in the UAE. The 400,000 SMEs also account for 60 per cent of the country's GDP and are expected to account for 70 per cent by 2021.

"The integration of SMEs into the delivery of Expo 2020 Dubai is set to continue to stimulate employment, strengthen existing industries, improve SME competitiveness and ultimately contribute to sustainable economic growth. This will be an important part of Expo 2020 Dubai's legacy for the UAE and wider region," Al Hashimy said.

She added that opportunities for SME participation in the event extend beyond the physical expo site and six-month duration of the event itself.

"From the needs of our 30,000 strong force of volunteers, to the services required by international participants developing self-built pavilions, and the transfer of knowledge in the legacy phase, we are committed to working with the most innovative businesses of all sizes, spreading the opportunity as far as possible and capturing the spirit of the event," Al Hashimy explained.

The expo procurement process has been modified to allow SMEs to bid more competitively including a proposal validity of 60 days, no tender bonds required, no advanced payment guarantee required, 50 per cent advanced payment for goods/materials, 25 per cent advanced payment for services, and a commitment to 30 days' payment from receipt of an approved invoice, according to Expo 2020. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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