GOOSE is a sole European project to test how much EU’s FTA with public procurement chapters are opening them up to European firms, whilst also developing a sound strategy to boost European firms bidding successfully.
GOOSE – Generating international public procurement Opportunities for the European SMEs is an EU-funded project aiming at improving the access of SMEs access to public procurements in non-EU countries with which the European Union has signed a bilateral or multilateral agreement covering public procurement.
GOOSE is one of the five projects funded by the COSME call COS-PPOUT-2020-2-03, Supporting European SMEs to participate in public procurement outside EU.
Specifically, GOOSE consists of four European partners (see more below), ACCIÓ (Catalonia), FIT (Flanders), CEA (Croatia) and ECCI (Estonia), and has set itself the following objectives for the period of June 2021 – June 2024:
- To enhance the knowledge and capacity of BSOs
- To strengthen the cooperation between BSO and institutions from Europe and those from third countries.
- To deliver three levels of services to help overcome invisible barriers to SMEs in four sectors, which are Green Economy, Smart Health, ICT and Smart Cities.
- To organize Meet the Buyers and Meet the Partner events in four of the six targeted markets: Japan, Norway, Serbia, Chile, Colombia and Vietnam.
- To integrate the internationalization strategy developed by the Consortium with the internationalization of each respective EU country.
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During the life of the project, our consortium will offer expert strategies, tools, advice and guidance to help the European SMEs compete for public procurement opportunities worldwide, particularly in the six countries we will be targeting.
The Project is a pilot, meaning that its findings and lessons learned will also serve as inputs for, amongst others, the EU future strategies on trade deals with chapters including public procurement. During the period of three years, GOOSE will have its focus on 6 countries: Colombia, Chile, Norway, Serbia, Vietnam and Japan; and include four sectors: Smart Health, Smart Cities, ICT and Green Economy.
Broadly speaking, these four sectors describe broad ideas/concepts, encompass a wide variety of sub-sectors and represent a significant amount of public procurement spent; whilst the six target third countries (i.e. non-EU members) are familiar to all our consortium members and are of significant strategic interest, offering European businesses growth opportunities in the referred sectors.
THE FOUR PROJECT PARTNERS
LEAD COORDINATOR & PARTNER 1:
Catalonia Competitiveness Agency (ACCIÓ)
ACCIÓ, the Coordinator of the action, promotes innovation and internationalization of its economy via its network of 40 international Trade and Investment Offices, providing coverage to more than 100 markets. From there it promotes the connection of Catalan enterprises in the world and advises on setting up in new markets and discovering global business opportunities, as well as helping in the process of internationalization of innovation thanks to its specialized team’s local support and knowledge.
Within ACCIÓ’s internationalization department, there is a dedicated Public Procurement Desk, with almost two decades of experience in helping Catalan firms and institutions access foreign procurement markets. The Desk’s track record of success stories in accessing foreign procurement markets with Catalan firms and institutions supported, gives it a key expertise to set strategies to access specific local procurement markets.
Catalonia counts with more than 8.000 foreign Catalonia counts with more than 8,000 foreign multinationals established locally (counting with 40% of those in the Spanish state), and 17,000 regular exporting companies. ACCIÓ has identified 300 Catalan firms with the potential in international public procurement; some of them will be key partners in the project, with the addition of new firms identified. ACCIÓ has a priority reach 40 Catalan clusters, 15 of which will be directly involved in the project.
Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI)
The ECCI is the largest umbrella organization for Estonian companies, supporting firms in their international activities as well as in policymaking process for government and other public institutions. Within the services department, there is dedicated full-time staff in charge of providing public procurement monitoring services, other services range from contacts search to issuing certificates of origin and ATA-carnets.
The ECCI has been a partner of the Enterprise Europe Network since 2008 and has been the consortia coordinator since the beginning. There’s a tight collaboration with sectorial umbrella organizations, clusters and other trade support organizations within Estonia and abroad. Over 95% of Estonian companies are SMEs. In 2019, in total 16,270 companies were exporting. In 2020, Estonian companies exported for the total volume of €7,834,555.667.
Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT)
FIT is the regional agency that promotes international entrepreneurship in Flanders, supporting Flemish companies in their international activities and attracting foreign investors. Within the trade promotion FIT is the regional agency that promotes international entrepreneurship in Flanders, supporting Flemish companies in their international activities and attracting foreign investors. Within the trade promotion department, there is an IFI-service (International Financial Institutions) specializing in public procurement, developing countries and emerging economies. The FIT benefits with its vast network of trade representation offices, counting with 18 overview offices worldwide, among others, in Santiago de Chile, Hanoi, Tokyo, Oslo, whilst it also has partnerships with Brussels exporting agency (HUB Brussels) to cover the Serbian market, and with Walloon exporting agency (AWEX) to cover the Colombian ones.
The FIT has been a partner of the Enterprise Europe Network since 2015. The FIT is the point of contact for internationalization in Flanders and has partnership agreements with:
- 17 partner organizations, such as Cleantech Flanders, Flanders.bio or Startups.be,
- 5 spearhead clusters, such as Catalisti, Blauwe cluster, Flux 50 or SIM.
- and four strategic research centres: Flanders’ Make, Imec, VIB, Vito
Over 98% or approximately 470,000 SMEs in the Flanders region are SMEs. In 2019, 82% of the total export in Belgium was realised by Flemish companies for the total volume of €325 billion.
CEA-Croatian Employers´ Association
CEA was founded in 1993 as a voluntary, non-profit and independent employers’ association that protects and promotes the rights and interests of its members. Since 1994, CEA has been the only representative of employers participating in the Economic and Social Council at the national level, the highest form of tripartite social dialogue in Croatia. CEA aims at identifying, protecting and promoting, the economic and social rights of employers and workers. CEA’s business strategy is to continuously learn based on examples of good practice and by exchanging information and expertise, by encouraging and fostering the establishment of a functional legislative framework.
CEA has 30 branch associations for specific economic interests of different sectors, and 4 regional offices, providing a strong network of entrepreneurs.
Within the 30 branch associations, there is a sopecial one for SMEs, CEA – Small and Medium Sized Enterprises’ Association.
CEA possesses highly educated and skilled employees and all equipment necessary for business and project implementation.
CEA has experience in managing more than 20 projects, e.g. Bridging the AgeGap, Youth initiative „222“, EU.EM.NET, CSR for All – Phase I and Phase II, GEMA, SOGRADI, GEMA – Gender Equality Management Approach, Workers’ Involvement in Management – Awareness, Monitoring – WIM 3.
Numerous Croatian companies, members of CEA, are well established within the Serbian market, including within its public procurement milieu, into which they are positioned since decades.