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Mon 1 May 2017 09:33 AM

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Expo 2020 to award half-a-billion dollars in contracts to SMEs

A series of “Meet the Buyers” events will share insight into the process

Expo 2020 to award half-a-billion dollars in contracts to SMEs
(Image: WAM)

Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to award contracts of more than $545 million (AED2 billion) to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) this year, it announced on Sunday.

The event organising entity will hold the first in a series of “Meet the Buyers” events on May 10 where SMEs will get insight into the process of awarding contracts and sub-contracts in their sector and get to meet officials who will take the call on awarding these deals.

Last year, it announced that 20 percent of direct and indirect spend for the Expo, representing $1.36bn (AED5bn) in contracts, would be awarded to SMEs.

This year alone, more than $3bn (AED11bn) in construction contracts and a further $98m (AED360m) in non-construction contracts will be awarded by Expo 2020 Dubai, more than $545m of which will be passed on to SMEs over the course of the deals.

Manal AlBayat, senior vice president 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 $1.36bn 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,” she added.

Expo 2020 Dubai 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 percent advanced payment to SMEs for goods and materials and a 25 percent contribution ahead of delivery for services.

“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,” Al Bayat said.

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