As part of a nationwide strategy to support Qatari Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Qatar Shell hosted the third annual ‘SME Business Opportunities Workshop,’ where they revealed seven new specific business opportunities for local SMEs to tender and join Qatar Shell’s supply chain.

During the workshop, over 150 Qatari SMEs and entrepreneurs were presented with business opportunities to become part of the supply chain for Pearl GTL, the world’s largest gas to liquids plant delivered by Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Qatar Shell.

Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development of QDB, Hamad Al Kubaisi, said:

We are proud to have partnered with Qatar Shell in order to support local SMEs and entrepreneurs. This partnership has yielded good results in promoting the diversification of Qatar’s economy by growing the private sector. SMEs are the cornerstone of a sustainable economy, therefore it is through this and other initiatives that we help bolster a robust private sector. We are glad that this partnership has been very successful and we are looking forward to further collaborations with Qatar Shell through offering more business opportunities to local SMEs and entrepreneurs, as well as helping these SMEs fine tune their operating standards. We are also working on attracting more Qatari partners to join hands in supporting local SMEs and replicate this successful programme.’

General Manager of Corporate Affairs and Deputy Country Chairman at Qatar Shell, Rob Sherwin, said:

This workshop is part of our ongoing commitment alongside our valued strategic partner QDB to develop local SMEs and support Qatar’s thriving private sector, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. When we started this workshop in 2013, three Qatari SMEs were awarded contracts and in 2014 we added five new local companies; a total of eight qualified SMEs that have become suppliers to our business. We are committed to continue providing diversified business opportunities to Qatari SMEs, as we trust in their ability to add value to our operations.’

Qatar Shell presented the following specific business opportunities: manufacturing of safety boards and electric labels; cafeteria and catering services for staff and events; servicing of custody flow meter calibration; manufacturing of stud bolts; supplying onsite welding inspection services; manufacturing and maintaining fire extinguishers, and managing Qatar Shell’s social media.

Shell is the largest foreign investor in Qatar investing up to USD21 billion in the last six years. QP and Shell are responsible for delivering two of the largest energy projects in the world located in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) is the world’s largest GTL plant and cements Qatar’s position as the GTL capital of the world. At an investment of USD18 to 19 billion, it is the largest single investment in the Shell Group’s global portfolio.

Participants were also briefed on the Qatar Shell’s tendering process as well as the advisory support and financial incentives provided by QDB.

QDB was established in 1997 as the Qatar Industrial Development Bank, a 100% government-owned developmental organisation. Between 1997 and 2005, the bank expanded its portfolio, diversifying from its industrial base to include support and guidance for a range of non-industrial sectors identified as key to the development of Qatar. Shortly afterwards, the bank revisited its mission statement to reflect the successful completion of its new strategic objective and changed its name to QDB. QDB’s sole shareholder, Qatar increased the bank’s capital from QAR200 million to QAR10 billion in 2008. Since that time, and reflecting the expansion of its mission and financial assets, QDB has launched a considerable number of strategic initiatives and programmes, all designed to directly contribute to the economic growth and development of Qatar.

Local SMEs are invited to register for the SME Business Opportunities Workshop until 15 June 2015. Thereafter, the qualified SMEs will be invited to tender by the second week of July. Finally, the successful SMEs will be awarded the contracts by December 2015.

For more information, visit the SME Business Opportunities Workshop and follow the conversation on Twitter at #smeopp15.