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Contractors required to boost SME participation in Duqm projects

Contractors working on projects in Oman's SEZD are now required to advertise opportunities for SMEs and prioritise local companies in terms of procurement

SEZAD has introduced new regulations to boost SME participation in the development of SEZD [image: <i>ONA</i>].
SEZAD has introduced new regulations to boost SME participation in the development of SEZD [image: <i>ONA</i>].

Contractors implementing projects in Oman’s Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD) are now required to advertise work opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in daily newspapers.

This requirement is part of the new regulations that the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD) has issued to help SMEs benefit from the development of SEZD.

The contractors are expected to coordinate with SEZAD's Department of Partnership and Development, which has been given the task of identifying possible business opportunities for SMEs in government projects in SEZD.

The department will work with project managers and consultants to ensure that contractors are adhering to the new requirement, according to Oman News Agency (ONA).

In addition to advertising work opportunities, the new regulations require contractors to lease machinery and equipment for SEZD projects from local businesses, with priority given to those owned by the citizens of Duqm and the other wilayats in Al-Wusta Governorate.  Machinery and equipment needs must also be advertised in local newspapers.

For purchases, contractors have the option to import machinery and equipment if they are not available in the sultanate, and only in coordination with the Department of Partnership and Development.

Contractors who fail to abide by the new regulations would be subject to penalties laid out in Article 20 of the Regulation on Investment Environment in SEZD, which states that the authority may suspend the license issued for the project or impose an administrative fine.

Companies working on government projects in SEZD are also required to meet the set Omanisation rate of 10%, to be verified by the Projects Department and the Partnership and Development Department.

The new regulations are reportedly based on decisions that were reached during the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Symposium, which was held from 21 to 23 January 2013, in Seeh Al-Shamikhat.

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