The Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD), which oversees what promises to be the largest industrial and economic hub in the Middle East, is now part of the Joint Supplier Registration System (JSRS), Buyers Community.
It follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Duqm SEZ Authority and Business Gateways International (BGI), the Muscat-based company with the mandate to operate and manage the online portal on behalf of the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
Signing on behalf of the Authority was its Deputy CEO, Dr. Ismail Ahmed Al Balushi, while Business Gateways International was represented by its Vice Chairman, Mr. Hafidh Saif Al Mahruqi. Also in attendance at the signing, which took place at SEZAD’s Muscat headquarters, were high-level executives from the two organisations.
With the signing of the MoU, SEZAD becomes the first government entity outside of the Ministry of Oil and Gas (MOG) to join the JSRS – the principal procurement platform of the Sultanate’s Oil & Gas industry. As a new member of the JSRS Buyers Community, SEZAD will now begin certifying Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) registered on the JSRS platform. This effectively qualifies the SMEs for preferential support from contractors operating within the SEZ.
Additionally, the SEZ Authority will initiate the process of migrating its database of Riyada-registered SMEs to the JSRS – a move that qualifies them for business opportunities at Duqm. This effectively creates a SEZAD certified pool of SMEs whose products and services can be availed by contractors in keeping with their government-mandated obligations to support small and medium Omani businesses.
Conceived by the Ministry of Oil & Gas to help advance the government’s In-Country Value (ICV) objectives, the Joint Supplier Registration System (JSRS) is a ‘single window’ supplier registration and certification system. JSRS certification is a prerequisite for contractors and vendors seeking access to procurement opportunities in the Oil & Gas industry, among other related sectors. The platform is managed by Business Gateways International and hosted on www.businessgateways.com
SEZAD’s entry into the JSRS Buyers Community effectively opens up a wealth of new business opportunities for certified SMEs to explore within the SEZ. SEZAD certification is a must for SMEs eager for a share of the immense opportunities emanating from Duqm’s development into a world-class SEZ. Existing JSRS-registered SMEs too have the option to seek SEZAD certification and thereby benefit from this arrangement as well.
Importantly, SEZAD’s decision to be part of the JSRS Buyers Community underscores the growing national appeal of the JSRS Certification & Procurement platform. SEZAD now has access to a vast database of JSRS Suppliers that include more than 5,000 small and big Omani firms and over 2,000 international companies distributed across 95 countries around the word.
Commenting on the MoU signing, Mr. Ismail Ahmed Al Balushi of SEZAD, said, “The JSRS has proved to be a strong and dependable choice when it comes to quality suppliers and updated supplier data. With the recent inclusions like the e-Procurement, JSRS Contracts Management etc., the JSRS fits SEZAD’s requirement as SEZAD progresses towards fulfilling its long term SME obligations to the Sultanate of Oman.”
Mr. Hafidh Saif Al Mahruqi, Vice Chairman of Business Gateways, added, “We are honoured with SEZAD’s decision to be part of the JSRS Buyers Community and are hopeful it will pave the way for other government and public sector entities to follow suit as well. This will contribute to much more rewarding outcomes for Buyers and Suppliers alike.”
Going forward, contractors approved by SEZAD will be tapping JSRS Suppliers for their procurements. SEZAD will also be mandating all Riyada-approved SMEs to be compulsorily certified on the JSRS platform in order to work within the SEZ in Duqm. SEZAD will also use the JSRS Contracts Management System (CMS) to track the commitments of contractors under their obligations to SMEs. This is in keeping with SEZAD’s regulations requiring ICV-based contracts to be awarded solely to eligible Omani SMEs.
By signing up to the JSRS platform, SEZAD is now able to not only monitor compliance by contractors with their ICV commitments, but also ensure the satisfactory delivery of contracts by the SMEs in question.