International Public Procurement: opportunities for Irish organisations
There are billions of euros available in the international public and private procurement market waiting for ambitious companies and individuals with a global vision. The benefit of working in these markets and with these multi-lateral funders is that payments are secure and advances are commonplace. ConsultingIreland also seeks to leverage this market potential to offset the ‘unknown’ of Brexit and other business market volatility.
ConsultingIreland aims to support organisations, private and public, who want to expand and diversify their business and explore new markets.
With our support and guidance, your organisation will diversify and develop an additional revenue stream which will bring economic growth and help Ireland regain the lead position it used to have.
ConsultingIreland will help you identify tender opportunities, connect with International partners and help you network with potential partners.
ConsultingIreland is an ever-growing database of Irish organisations with exceptional International experience and skills across a wide variety of sectors.
The International IFI Markets
Conservatively these IFI-Funded Pubic Sector markets are worth over €1 Trillion per annum with over 200,000 tenders per day. The Funds are typically earmarked for emerging economies in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Caribbean and South America, but there is often related work awarded for delivery in the major IFI centres in Brussels, London, Geneva and Washington. The funded projects are more ‘commercial’ and of greater monetary value than those R&D programmes that are heavily promoted in Ireland, such as EC Horizon 2020 – a programme that represents less than 8% of the EC annual budget and of interest generally only to multinational, universities and specialist R&D firms.
The IFI lists for the various countries do show that SMEs are active in these developing markets and typically represent 75-80% of the active bidding organisations.
These funded projects are well within the capabilities of Irish organisations be they small or large, private firms, public bodies, universities, NGOs or specialist R&D entities. Interestingly there are many Irish individuals working in these markets – but for UK, French, German Spanish or US firms.
For example Denmark, a country with many similarities to Ireland in terms of population and its concentration on key sectors such as Agriculture and Rural Development, Energy and ICT, continues to wins over ten times Ireland’s IFI- funded trade business. Their return from follow on or ‘downstream’ business is significantly more.
During the recent Euro financial crisis, that other troubled economies such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy reported increased IFI activity on international projects.
While the major IFI projects have been available to Irish firms for some time now, the recent BREXIT vote will significantly increase EC-funded opportunities for any interested Irish organisation. funders. With an annual budget spend of €140bn per annum, the EC is one of the major global funders today.
The UK is particularly strong in key sectors such as Agriculture and Rural Development, Education, Finance, Infrastructure, Security and Trade. That is probably because a majority of the international tenders are in English and importantly there is significant support, financial and otherwise, available from UK Government. This support relies heavily on their international networks and pro-active trade departments attached to their Foreign Embassies.
In Ireland, we lack that engagement in key sectors. For example, we have no representative on a selected list of 60 organisations for the EC External Aid Framework on Agriculture and Rural Development.
BREXIT will change that dynamic and some 4,200 plus UK organisations (Fig. 1) we are able to identify, will no longer be able to bid on future EC Funded trade-related opportunities. The question is then who will take up the resultant slack left by the exit of our near neighbour? While the exit date is still some way off, the UK organisations are already preparing for this break and are seeking other non-EC funded opportunities, targeting the UK bi-lateral funds and the other major IFIs. The remaining 27 member states and their organisations have actively commenced the disengagement, by omitting British firms in their new consortia and engaging fewer UK experts.
EC28 Activity Rankings 2017
The BREXIT opportunity is already being discussed by other European Governments and Business Support Agencies. Ireland, its Agencies and interested organisations will need to prepare for this seismic occurrence immediately if we are to exploit these certain opportunities.
In the EC league activity table, Ireland is now ranked in 24th position among the EC28 States having fallen 5 places in the last 5 years.
One of the important features in these fully-funded markets is that payment is secure and advances of up to 60% are available.
Tendering in Europe - PPACT
The National and Regional public-sector procurement markets within the various EC 28 Member States, present significant opportunities for Irish organisations of all sizes, across all sectors and be they in the Services, Product or Infrastructure business.
The overall value of this market is estimated at over €2.4 Trillion per annum. To date, any Irish successes in these markets are largely attributed to the multinational such as Apple, Facebook or Microsoft – but certainly not our SMEs.
Typically, Irish firms have shied away for bidding on tenders in other EC countries – even though Irish Government projects has proved attractive targets for other nations – with the UK and NI the main beneficiaries.
Why Ireland is targeted by other States may be because our EC partners have more experience in public sector procurement (including tendering with the major IFIs), allied with a good level of proficiency in English.
PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND CROSS-BORDER TENDERING IN EUROPE – PPACT
ConsultingIreland is part of an EC Funded consortium that is currently reviewing Public Procurement and Cross Border Tendering within the EC Partner States aimed at identifying and providing practical solutions, developing partnership and mentoring interested participants. See out Brochure that explains our objectives, activities and partners in greater detail.
The programme is an 18 months assignment and we have kicked off with our first meeting in Barcelona in Summer 2017. The partners are;
- Regional Government of Catalonia, Spain
- Paris Chambers, France
- Venice Regional Chambers, Italy
- Bangor University, Wales
- ConsultingIreland, Ireland
Our next meeting is in Bangor, Wales where the consortium will gather to develop a training programme for the partners on ‘best practice’ training and mentoring (‘train the trainers’) that will be delivered to the member of each Partner organisation. For example, Paris Chamber has over 650K members alone
Our other activities will include;
- Procurement and Cross-Border tendering for 125 organisations across the 5 partner countries including 50 in Ireland (25 in ROI and 25 in NI). ConsultingIreland will deliver the training to the Irish companies and may also provide support to other Partners who do not have the ‘hands on’ practical experience of our organisation
- Development of a tender tracking system and identification of opportunities in EC 28 countries – particularly on ‘Smart Cities’ tenders
- Building Consortia and identification of partners in other EC28 countries
- Facilitating B2B to build partnerships and consortia
- Promotion of Public Procurement and Cross-Border Tendering at major events throughout Europe
Ireland and Irish organisations need to seek opportunities and alliances to exploit the opportunities in these new markets and by adopting ‘best practice’ positioning ourselves to be more successful in targeting the wider EC marketplace and beyond.
“We are working with our Honorary Consul to Ireland with the support of ConsultingIreland to promote this business event and help build on any earlier events to allow networking with key Irish Government, businesses, private institutions and individuals.”
– High Commission of the Republic of Uganda, UK
“The conference was one of the best events of this kind that I have attended – both in terms of organization and content. I was very much impressed by the quality of the presentations (particularly the companies that presented) and the candor and quality of advice provided. “
– The World Bank, Paris
“The event was very well organized and profitable for us. I would appreciate if you could send me the presentations given by the Banks and by Bangor University which was particularly of our interest.
We met with the Spanish trade commissioner as well and are evaluating our next step in Ireland. I will let you know if we finally organize a business mission or any other kind of activity.”
– Generalitat Valenciana, Spain
“We were very pleased with the large turnout of companies at the Africa Ireland Economic Forum and we look forward to working with ConsultingIreland to look at ways in which we can continue to develop our relationship with Africa, including the economic sphere.”
– Minister of State for Trade and Development, Ireland