Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Muscat – In a significant move aimed at bolstering local industries, the Secretariat General of the Tender Board unveiled a mandatory list to support locally manufactured products on Tuesday.

The initiative, in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, was announced during a press conference held at the Diplomatic Club. The event saw the patronage of H E Qais Mohammed al Yousuf, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion.

Government-affiliated contractors must now procure products and services included in the list exclusively from domestic factories or local vendors. This regulation will be integrated into all forthcoming government tenders and procurements. As an initial step, the board will roll out this directive as a pilot for a six-month duration.

In its inaugural phase, the wide-ranging list will include nine product categories, encompassing 57 items – from construction materials, electrical components and oil apparatus, to everyday essentials like food and furniture. Within services, 11 distinct categories – a total of 96 services, including electrical, construction and IT – are included in the mandatory list.

Tender Board also launched a programme called ‘Maeen’ – an initiative aimed to elevate the potential of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). By facilitating continuous training and education for entrepreneurs, the programme envisages a more competent and skilled business landscape. A unique mentoring aspect of Maeen ensures that seasoned experts provide SME owners with invaluable business advice and insights.

The event also marked the formalisation of three collaboration agreements. The first, a partnership involving the National Employment Programme, the Ministry of Labour, the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Muscat Municipality, seeks to establish SMEs specialising in periodic maintenance for government vehicles.

The second, Invest in Oman Hall, focuses on promoting local investment opportunities and industries. The third, in collaboration with Bank Dhofar, ensures a streamlined financing process for self-employed entrepreneurs, enabling smoother access to government tenders via the ‘Isnad’ platform.

H E Dr Saleh bin Said Masan, Undersecretary for Commerce and Industry in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, said that the objective of the list is to fortify the industrial domain and highlight the local essence in national products. “The intent is not just to support our existing industries but also to stimulate quality and diversification, thereby responding adeptly to local market needs.”

Additionally, Ahmed bin Mohammed al Hamidi, Chairman of Muscat Municipality, said the civic body is set to offer specialised technical training to young Omanis, priming them to helm SMEs in vehicle maintenance.

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