Expo 2020: Deals worth $544m to be awarded to SMEs

Expo 2020 Dubai is committed to supporting the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the region with construction contracts worth more than $544m to be awarded to the sector, according to Trade Arabia

More than $544m to be awarded to the SME sector.
More than $544m to be awarded to the SME sector.

Expo 2020 Dubai is committed to supporting the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the region with construction contracts worth more than $544m to be awarded to the sector, according to Trade Arabia.Last year, it was announced that 20% of direct and indirect spend for the Expo, representing $1.36bn in contracts, would be awarded to SMEs, a major driving force contributing 40% to the country's GDP.Representatives of SMEs will get a chance to showcase their firms to procurement staff from Expo 2020 Dubai and some of its largest contractors at an event next week, said senior officials of the organising committee.The first in a series of Meet the Buyers events will take place on May 10 in Dubai, where SMEs can gain valuable insight into the process of awarding billions of dirhams worth of contracts and sub-contracts in their sector – then meet the people face to face who will be deciding on the deals, they stated.

SMEs interested in attending should apply via the website http://rsvpexpo2020dubai.com. They are also encouraged to sign up to the expo’s e-sourcing portal at https://esource.expo2020dubai.ae to keep track of the latest commercial opportunities.

According to the Expo 2020 organising committee, this year alone, construction contracts worth more than $3bn and a further $98m in non-construction contracts will be awarded.

Procurement teams for construction awards will attend the Meet the Buyer event on 10 May, as well as non-construction awards, such as event management and operations and marketing and communications.

Among the other award areas are logistics, facilities management, vehicles - including alternative fuelled, mechanical handling equipment, warehousing and technology.

The buyers will include representatives of Al-Futtaim Carillion, a Dubai-based company that was awarded a $599m contract earlier this year to be the main contractor for the three Theme Districts at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Some 200 attendees will get the chance to pitch to each of the representatives in ‘speed networking’ at the event.

Manal Al Bayat, senior VP of Business Development and Integration at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "This is an unmissable opportunity for SMEs to make an impression on the procurement teams of both Expo and our main contractors and to have inclusive and collaborative discussions about innovation and best practice."

“This series of events is aimed at supporting them as they bid for the AED5bn worth of contracts that will be awarded to the sector. Already, nearly half of all contracts, a total of 765, have been awarded to SMEs by Expo 2020 Dubai,” noted Al Bayat.

Expo 2020 Dubai, she stated, has also made enhancements to Expo’s procurement processes to ensure SMEs can compete on a level playing field for contracts.

These include the removal of requirements for tender bonds or advanced payment guarantees, a 50% advanced payment to SMEs for goods and materials, as well as a 25% contribution ahead of delivery for services.

Al Bayat said: "Our commitment to SMEs is not just about awarding contracts, it is also about connecting them with other companies and organisations and building relationships that will help them grow. In other words, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, our core ambition."

The next World Expo will be the first in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. It opens in October 2020 and closes six months later in April 2021. Millions of visitors are expected and more than 180 countries will participate at the global destination, said the organising committee.

The Meet the Buyers event is the latest initiative of Expo to work with businesses ahead of 2020 by facilitating networking through opening the supply chain, allowing dialogue, exchanging ideas, sharing expertise and enabling SMEs to sell and deliver the best solutions, it added.

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