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Welcome to the Keystone Column. This week we celebrate Canada Day by looking at CETA and procurement – the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada brings some interesting procurement opportunities. As usual, we conclude with our weekly list of current Irish public tenders.

CETA and Procurement

We make no secret of the fact that we are fans of the maple leafed heros of the procurement world – Canada! Our confrères Canadiens / Canadian friends have recently concluded a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union. Canada is the most developed (third party) nation that the EU has agreed a free trade agreement with so this is a significant development.

The Canadian procurement system (state and federal) is worth in excess of CAD70bn per annum. Canada is one of the eight most powerful states and economies in the world and is a member of the Group of 8 or G8 nations. As a broad rule of thumb, if the Irish State buys something, there a very strong likelihood the Canadian state buys the same category of good or service. Some allowance naturally needs to be made for climatic differences – we don’t need too many snowploughs and they have yet to realise that whiskey is spelt with an “e”.

At the dawn of free trade relations, one of the earliest questions asked is so how do we start to trade? The overarching rules for the trade agreement with Canada are consistent with Canadian procurement principles and the EU’s public procurement rules. They allow for EU firms to be given an opportunity to compete to win on an equal basis to Canadian firms and vice versa.

Within the EU, you can expect the Danish, Belgian, Dutch and German firms will be first up and best dressed in targeting these opportunities. Brexit looks to position Britain weakly with respect to Canada for some time so Canada’s two main official languages are spoken as official EU tongues in just four countries. Ireland is the only remaining native English speaking country, the other three speaking their other official language, French.

Irish firms that are interested in expanding to new markets should think about exploring a few data sources to begin with. They need to find out what is bought at a federal level and what is bought at a State level. In other words, they need to know what part of the State to target. Secondly, they need to source data on who is already in country and then start to develop their market entry approach. For some products or services, remote servicing can work and work very well (typically scarce skills / information or very large / exclusive items). Outside of those relatively rare scenarios everything from agency and franchise approaches to direct sales are the most common market entry approaches.

This is an introductory post to this sector. In upcoming posts we will provide further details on what a company should do (specifically) if targeting Canada and what Canadian firms need to do to make the breakthrough in Ireland.

New public procurement tenders this week 

Visit the Keystone website to view our take on the 500+ active public procurement opportunities with more than five days until their deadline. There are a vast range of services, supplies and construction related to public procurement opportunities in the following sectors (there are many more sectors than the sample list below):

  • Construction and related trades,
  • Professional & Advisory Services,
  • PR, Media, Advertising and related,
  • ICT supplies and services,
  • Training,
  • Property & facilities management,
  • Vehicle & automotive,
  • Catering and related services,
  • Cleaning and related services,
  • Waste Management,
  • Maintenance and related services,
  • Horticultural supplies & services,
  • Research & environmental monitoring,
  • Printing, office supplies and related services,
  • Trades,
  • Medical and scientific research, supplies and services,
  • A vast range of other services and supplies.

Businesses interested in any of these strategic procurement opportunities that are unsure of how they can follow-up on these tenders can contact Keystone at any stage. We would be happy to discuss your needs and where they may fit with your business growth plans. These public procurement opportunities are sources of business growth and innovation for companies across the country.

Please note, e-tenders often has public procurement opportunities incorrectly categorised so people relying on e-tender alerts could easily miss out on opportunities if they are dependent on it. E-tenders is only as reliable as the people inputting tenders and mistakes are made very frequently. The Keystone Column includes all live tenders posted on e-tenders that have five or more days until their deadline as at June 29th 2017.