OQ, the global integrated energy group, has significantly increased its spending on local goods and services through the third quarter of 2023, demonstrating its commitment to enhancing In-Country Value (ICV) and supporting Omani businesses.
OQ's total expenditure on goods and services reached USD 974.07 million, with a remarkable USD 753.11 million allocated to local suppliers. This resulted in USD 314.17 million retained as ICV within Oman. The group has also prioritised small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), spending USD 172.53 million on them, including a significant USD 56.99 million specifically for Riyada Card holders.
This focus on ICV aligns with OQ's strategic efforts and Oman Vision 2040, supporting local markets, goods, and SMEs. Recognising the importance of Omani products, OQ offers a 10% price preference and targets specific goods in some contracts, leading to spending of approximately USD 122.41 million on those manufactured within the country.
Furthering its commitment, OQ launched initiatives like the Ladayn Polymer Park projects, expected to contribute roughly USD 46 million in annual ICV.
Eng. Mabrook bin Hamed Al Siyabi, Head of ICV at OQ, reiterated the group's dedication to maximising ICV across all activities. He highlighted the crucial role local businesses play in national economic development and sustainability, emphasising OQ's investment in programmes that boost their growth and development, create opportunities for local product supply, and support job creation and skill development.
Al Siyabi further explained that ICV represents the total expenditure retained within the country, contributing to business development, human capacity building, and productivity stimulation. OQ has established a robust framework to maximise ICV, including a dedicated unit, comprehensive performance metrics, and integrating ICV requirements into procurement policies. Transparency is ensured through displaying tenders on the e-procurement platform (Tawreed) and using ICV as a primary evaluation criterion.
OQ's commitment to ICV is also evident in its spending trend over the past three years. In 2022, USD 1,016.86 million was spent on local goods and services, representing 32.7% of the ICV index. The previous years saw similar trends, showcasing OQ's consistent support for local businesses.
Al Siyabi revealed that around 2,200 SMEs are now registered on Tawreed, OQ's e-tendering system, including 617 Riyada Card holders. OQ prioritises SME growth by earmarking 10% of total procurement spending for them, streamlining procurement procedures for Riyada Card holders, and offering swift payment policies, waived fees, and reduced guarantee requirements.
Furthermore, OQ's Supplier Development Programme and restricted tenders for SMEs/Riyada Card holders empower local businesses and encourage innovation. These initiatives reflect OQ's dedication to fostering a dynamic and inclusive business environment, promoting local entrepreneurship, and pioneering innovation within the energy sector.