GOOSE is a COSME (EU) funded project exploring public procurement opportunities in 6 non-EU markets

During the life of the project, our consortium will offer expert strategies, tools, advice and guidance to help European SMEs build the capacity, capability, and knowledge so that they can compete for public procurement opportunities worldwide, particularly in the six countries we will be targeting.

Overview of the sector

A broad assembly of sectors aimed at enhancing efficiency of our economies, which translate in less carbon emissions by unit of output. ​

Arguably one of the areas in which European companies and institutions (research centres, universities, etc) can better compete internationally, due to both the stringent European legislation and a long-lasting culture of protection and conservation of the environment.​

The EU Green Deal embodies Europe standing at the frontier of innovation and investment in reducing negative externalities to the environment. The package, approved early in 2020, aims at fostering a new wave of innovation, with the potential of driving the European economy at the cutting edge in areas such as clean transportation, including batteries, clean energy or low emissions’ industry.​

The four GOOSE partner regions/countries count on a diverse number of firms and institutions of reference in Green Economy, able and prone to compete internationally in areas such as: solid and liquid waste treatment; desalination plants; energy efficiency; off-grid renewables; climate modelling; or waste to energy.

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE
to help European SMEs:

  • Colombia and, specially, Chile are leaders in LatAm in strategies to decarbonize their economies, also taking into account a huge road ahead: the region still lacks behind in most of its segments, such as renewable energies or energy efficiency.​
  • GOOSE firms can tap into niches of opportunities given their sometimes superior mix of technology & knowledge, even proposing themselves as partners to local integrators. ​
  • Norway, together with its Nordic neighbors, leads in many of the segments of the Green economy, thanks to strict legislation, ambitious goals and a very conscientious population. However, this does not imply nil potential for GOOSE firms, taking into account that they can be more competitive in costs than local/Nordic supplier, with similar standards of quality.​
  • One of the challenges in Serbia is harmonization to the EU standards: as one of the pre-accession candidates, the country is beneficiary of huge investments from Brussels, amongst other to face the costs of the Energy transition, considering that Serbia is still today almost fully reliant on coal & gas. Needless to say, one of the advantages of Serbia for GOOSE firms is its relative proximity, also cultural wise. ​
  • Vietnam faces the challenges of any a developing economy, such as providing basic infrastructure to a growing and more affluent population; to add to this, the country will be beneficiary of Western finance for matters relating to the Climate, such mitigation/adaptation or the Energy transition.​
  • Japan seems unreachable on a first sight, given the distance from Europe, in mindset, culture, geography, and of course the language barrier. Yet, the Green economy revolution asks for solutions at the very top of the scale of innovation and technology, some of which can be the provided by  GOOSE’s firms.

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Overview of the sector

Health is one of the sectors in which European supply is first-class, from medical technologies and devices, to pharmaceuticals, but also to new developments in the sector, eased by the rapid convergence with ICT.

Smart Health is amongst the most dynamic areas within the European health sector, which benefits with a vibrant ecosystem of micro and small companies at its forefront.

There are several trends that drive the sector, besides ICT adaptation, such as transparency and communication with patients, gains in efficiency and interoperability, as well as the Covid/Pandemic fight.

To position European solutions in the 6 target markets will also need to pull interest from the public buyers, considering that all things Smart in the Health sector are relatively new.

Finding the right “Specifiers” from public institutions will be crucial, in order to make them realize the benefits in specifying/asking the kind of solutions provided by GOOSE firms.

GOOSE will work to provide with intelligence to understand the preferences in each of the 6 markets, benefiting with a well-established network, and joining the resources of the 4 consortium partners.

GOOSE will also be offering the necessary training, mapping where the niches of opportunity appear, as well as giving direct advice and mentoring to help SMEs reach them successfully.

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE
to help European SMEs:

  • Both Colombia and, specially, Chile characterize for a dual Health system, with top-notch private facilities and underinvested and crowded public ones. GOOSE will consider the considerable already stablished Catalan/Spanish firms as potential targets for GOOSE firms.
  • As one of the countries offering better public services, including all Health related, Norway’s public buyer markets are some to follow, specially by firms offering state-of-the-art solutions. Of significance will be the niche of public procurement of innovation, in which the administration seeks new solutions still not marketed.
  • Serbia’s potential in this field seems low, at least on a first look. However, the cultural-geographical proximity, especially with Slovenia, invites exploring the potential of European solutions.
  • In principle, Vietnam offers meagre potential in Smart health, especially from the point of view of European suppliers. Nevertheless, niches of opportunity will be explored, possibly counting with the partnership with local firms.
  • Japan has the characteristics of any advanced economy, only on steroids: the most aged population with the longest life-expectancy. As such, it is a pioneer in Smart-health solutions, with the peculiar local touch. What to make of it will be one of GOOSE’s tasks: as in the case above of Norway, we will explore which niches of public procurement of innovation offer the most potential for GOOSE firms.

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Overview of the sector

As a cross-cutting sector, the Information and Communication Technologies can be divided into different areas, including the two broad sectors of Green Economy and Smart Health, and of course the Smart Cities.

Although America current powerhouse in the sector may look like untouchable, there are many European solutions tradable beyond the EU, also via public tenders.

That includes many micro and small companies form the four partner countries/regions, which are offering solutions, scalable to foreign markets, with the right price and adaptation to them.

Examples of the ingenuity offered by European companies and institutions are found everywhere in the continent, and particularly in two of the partners of this proposal, Slovenia and Estonia.

E.g., Estonia is renowned as pioneer in all related to digitalization; such is its forerunner legislation, aiming at virtualizing almost every level of public administration; in parallel, it hosts an extremely rich and diverse business ecosystem in the sector.

Additionally, while European manufacturers may not be renowned in the field, there are in fact a myriad of manufacturers offering top-notch solutions to different niche markets in Hardware-consumer electronics or Telecommunication devices.

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE
to help European SMEs:

  • Colombia and Chile are arguably the most advanced in the region in the ICT. Accordingly, they can offer a fertile ground to which GOOSE firms can foster partnerships to target the local procurement markets.
  • GOOSE firms need to take into account time differences, that range between 4-6 hours behind, whilst they can take advantage of the familiarity with the region from, say, Catalan firms.
  • Serbia lacks many of its peers in the region, with low penetration, for example, in cloud computing, whilst it has a noticeable brain drain, with qualified staff emigrating to better paying countries nearby.
  • Yet, Serbia has attracted investments from key foreign players, such as Microsoft, IBM, Intel or NCR, thanks to its mix of skills and salary costs. GOOSE firms can find qualified Serbian interlocutors, as well as manufacturers can find business niches not serviced by local firms.
  • Norway’s ICT market is prone to cross-border supplies from its Nordic neighbours, considering its cultural-geographical proximity. In any case, according to its purchasing power, GOOSE will be seeking into niches of opportunity, especially in Hardware-consumer electronics or Telecommunication devices.
  • Although Vietnam’s income per capita is still in the low thousands, it has relevant MN investments, namely in the consumer electronics business. GOOSE will help firms targeting its public buyers, in order to overcome the cultural-geographical divide, as well as the competition from, well, China and Japan.
  • If we talk about divide, we think of Japan, but yet GOOSE will show European firms that there is a surprising business potential in this sector, particularly in segments related to IT services.

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Overview of the sector

The growth of urbanization and the spread of megalopolises, combined with the new fields opened up by the ubiquity of ICT, has coined the new term Smart Cities.

While before one used the more prosaic term of “urban solutions”, the popularity of branding a city as Smart is undeniable: from Ho Chi Min City and Medellín to Nis, all of them are cities within the scope of the project having been claimed to be the first Smart City of their respective countries, Vietnam, Colombia and Serbia.

Smart City also identifies a set of policies and strategies that ultimately manifest in tender opportunities, such as those we expect to explore in the cities above, amongst other targets.

Europe is again at the forefront of new technological and managerial solutions ‘smart’, for and to improve the management of cities and their inhabitants’ wellbeing. For example, Barcelona has positioned itself as one of the Smart Cities of reference, which is epitomized by hosting the Smart City Expo and World Congress since its creation.

Having said that, European solutions need to be fine-tuned to the specifics of every market, such as their respective purchase power, the political priorities, or the socio-economic milieu.

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE
to help European SMEs:

  • Colombia and Chile can leapfrog Western countries by starting from scratch and investing in top-notch solutions, without having to pay off past investments (as older European countries may need to).
  • Some niches may specifically be of advantage to tap into, such as Smart government in the Case of Colombia,  whilst Chile has set an ambitious “Plan Chile: Territorio inteligente” (Chile’s Plan: Smart land) to apply a myriad of Smart solutions.
  • As for Serbia, there is life beyond their big capital, Belgrade: a number of mid-size cities are also pursuing to implement smart solutions to get over their current problems and tackle issues such as accessibility for all, open access to data or mobility.
  • Norway and Japan rank on top in the developed countries’ list, and their potential in the field are according to it: a high purchase power associated to high standards in terms of quality and reliability.
  • Although Vietnam’s urbanization, at below 40%, is still moderate for developed standards, it already counts with 5 cities above 1M inhabitants, which can constitute potential markets for GOOSE firms. Smart solutions only need to adapt to the much lower local purchase power, as well as to the local conditions.

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Target countries

Overview of the market

  • It is a relatively unknown market, but one of the highfliers of the last 10 years, with growth rates amongst the top in the world year after year. Nonetheless, it still lags its larger partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. ​
  • Some advantages in the fact that some tenders are publicized also in English (for example via the English language newspapers “Vietnam news” and “Vietnam investment review”). ​
  • Vietnam being one of the key countries in receiving multilateral financing (such as from the Asian Development Bank or the World Bank) and bilateral financing (specially the Japanese cooperation, the French, and some other European cooperation institutions, from Belgium, Denmark of the Netherlands), a relevant share of its procurement can be tendered in European languages. ​
  • Still has a few perceptible barriers: despite some recent improvements, public procurement in the country is characterized by its low transparency and efficiency; the Vietnamese culture is prone to long negotiations, which can also affect the awarded bids, with long-lasting negotiations, on price, payment terms or collateral. ​
  • Another issue to be considered is the EUVFTA (AGO/2020) permits Vietnam to delay the implementation of several specified provisions for up to 10 years, and the Vietnam’s government procurement obligations will not be subject to dispute settlement for 5 years. 

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE to help European SMEs:

  • The fact that Vietnam is not yet a party to the WTO GPA means that the public procurement commitments under the EU and Vietnam Free Trade Agreement-EUVFTA could provide EU firms with a competitive edge to penetrate previously closed public markets in Vietnam.​
  • Some niches of opportunity within infrastructure are in roads and ports, public hospitals and power distribution. ​
  • Multilateral and bilateral development institutions will be closely followed, for they provide a safer setting from the point of view of European bidders. Nevertheless, lower cost providers, local or regional, are something to always count upon as competitors, when aiming to access public contracts in Vietnam.​
  • In this sense, there is huge potential in anything related to the Green economy: Coastal protection, Flood prevention, Energy transition, Renewable energies, Water treatment, etc.

Coming December 2021! Stay tuned to receive our country fact sheet with the main highlights and opportunities of the public procurement market of Vietnam

  • Japan is possibly the most challenging country of the project, given the cultural/physical distance, and the current underrepresentation of foreign companies in the public procurement market (5,24% of the total market value of Japanese government tenders in 2018). ​
  • It leads the world in technology, patents and quality standards, and is an island in many aspects, as well as literally, having led the development of Eastern Asian.​
  • While the country may remain a mystery to the majority of European SMEs, the new EPA (Economic and Partnership Agreement, 2019) between the EU and Japan should set a new business mindset, at least on paper.​
  • Granted, although Japanese public institutions are not going to welcome en masse foreign consortia, the EPA is indeed opening up new business opportunities in that market.​
  • GOOSE firms may take advantage of their competitive lead in price, given the high purchase power of the Japanese market.​
  • However, and needless to say, the local factor plays a big role, specially in Japan: to start, the language, which is a huge barrier on its own; also local specificities, standards, tastes, cultural and traditional values play a relevant role. ​
  • Other difficulties include that lobbying plays an important role in securing contracts, and the procurement system is fragmented. 

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE to help European SMEs:

  • Aside of the challenges, the Japanese public procurement market has enormous potential. In 2018 the total market value of public tenders was 18.82 BEURO (e.g. 150% of Spain’s GDP). ​
  • Foreign services and products were able to penetrate in the Japanese government procurement market for ICT / computer and for health. ​
  • Procurement related to the Green economy was less open for foreign suppliers, but the development of offshore windmills in Japan might change that.​
  • The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation is the leading international institution to develop business research on the market, and will be working together with GOOSE to identify niches of opportunities for European firms.​
  • The EPA is unambiguous in that “EU companies will be able to participate on an equal footing with Japanese companies in bids for procurement tenders in the 54 so-called ‘core cities’ of Japan (i.e. cities with around 300.000 to 500.000 inhabitants or more). ​
  • The agreement also removes existing obstacles to procurement in the railway sector.”​
  • Accordingly, the fields of opportunities are not few, but they need to be balanced with the local propensity to consider anathema everything foreigner.​
  • For example, although ICT seems to be an exclusive local issue, there are fields of opportunity in some segments, such as in system integrators.

Coming December 2021! Stay tuned to receive our fact sheet with the main highlights and opportunities of the public procurement market of Japan.

  • Colombia has consolidated itself a regional economic power, although its traditional inequality levels continue (like in most Latin American countries), especially related to the contrasts of cities vs. countryside or central urban districts vs. urban periphery. ​
  • All in all, Colombia cannot be qualified neither as an emerging market nor a mature market. Therefore, GOOSE firms need to not regard local firms as merely local, uncompetitive at the international scale, including in niches within frontier sectors, such as ICT or Health.​
  • That being said, the economy has loopholes; i.e. the sectors value chains are not as diverse and developed as in Europe, all of which can be taken advantage by European players.​
  • It is one of the first Latin American countries to develop and implement a centralized online system for public procurement. ​
  • As with the rest of the continent, bureaucracy requires to be set into the equation; the period of tendering and execution can extend much longer to what European companies are used to.​
  • Doubtless, the cultural proximity with Catalonia/Spain exist, which can be a leverage for firms from the other GOOSE partners.

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE to help European SMEs:

  • Although Bogotá centralizes the bulk of public procurement opportunities, other cities such as Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, or Bucaramanga have emerged as interesting targets. Furthermore, for some reason, there are sectors more opened than others, especially those in which foreign technology/management offers a clear competitive advantage.
  • The country has a huge handicap in hospital infrastructure, needing to import almost everything related to hospitals. All of this implies a high potential for assisting foreign (i.e. EU) suppliers to win business through procurement, whether they are service companies or industrial ones. ACCIÓ has already worked successfully with several companies in the sector, as well as in Green Economy and Smart Cities.
  • Although the capital concentrates the lion’s share of public bodies, there is life beyond Bogotá: in second-tier cities, such as Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla or Bucaramanga, there is latent demand in some segments concerning to the Green economy or Smart cities. ​
  • Colombia lacks behind its Latin-American peers in physical infrastructure, specially concerning mobility. Accordingly, there are ambitious plans to tackle it, of which GOOSE will scrutinize its path of execution.​
  • With some reason, there are sectors more opened than others, especially those in which foreign technology/management offer a clear competitive advantage vis-à-vis local players. ​
  • The country has handicaps in hospital infrastructure, needing to import almost everything connected to hospitals. All of this implies a high potential for assisting foreign (i.e. EU) suppliers, to win business through procurement, whether they are service companies or industrial ones. ACCIÓ has already worked successfully with several firms in the sector, as well as in the Green economy and Smart cities. ​
  • The country is taking the Energy transition seriously, considering today’s mix of hydro and thermal as the main energy sources; as such, it is taking steps ahead of its neighbours, in promoting Renewable energies and Electric mobility, spurring high interest from European/Spanish firms.​
  • It has high potential in photovoltaic and wind, specially, which should be exploited sooner than later, considering Colombia’s goal in generating 15% of energy from new renewable energy (beyond hydro).​
  • Also worth stressing is the prospective on environmental services, such as in decontamination, solid waste treatment, as well as ICT related to e-Government.  

Coming December 2021! Stay tuned to receive our fact sheet with the main highlights and opportunities of the public procurement market of Japan.

  • It is the most stable country in Latin-America, with many of its public institutions regarded as efficient, corruption free, sitting them at another level in the region.​
  • However, street turmoil events of the last years have arisen some of Chile’s deep issues, such as income inequality, and the glass ceilings for part of its population, as well as the indigenous-colonizer divide.​
  • One of the side effects of the unrest of 2019 is an increase in public investments for the less affluent, including in Health, Education and Mobility.​
  • Interestingly, this opened up the current “proceso constituyente” to replace the constitution of 1980s, tainted by its military “touch”. That being said, the process is not straightforward.​
  • According to Chile being still the Latin exception, making business there demands taking into account its specific idiosyncrasy; such as that commercial relations and quality of service are above personal considerations.​
  • Although the country’s autocracy is deemed efficient, timings can be tiring, for which expectations need to be in the midterm view span, whilst partnering with local firms need to always be kept on the table.

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE to help European SMEs:

  • Chile parallels Colombia in its hydrothermal energy mix, and, most importantly, in its ambitious plans toward the Energy transition. Accordingly, it is developing laws to facilitate foreign investment in Energy generation from renewable sources, beyond Hydro.​
  • As in many areas, the country’s clean infrastructure is atop in the continent; the level playing field for European firms to access the local public procurement market induces GOOSE to identify those niches with the most potential. For example, Energy efficiency, Climate change related or the Circular economy.​
  • There is also potential in the country’s powerful public companies; the three largest related to mining, especially copper (Chile is the world’s top producer). GOOSE Green economy firms can exploit this potential, such as in Clean energy, Waste treatment or Pollution measurement and control. ​
  • Following Colombia, there is life beyond the capital Santiago de Chile, with mid-size cities (e.g. Temuco, Curicó, Valdivia, Antofagasta, Viña del mar or Valparaiso) offering potential to market there Smart cities solutions from GOOSE firms., in areas such as Smart mobility or Smart government.​
  • There is growing demand for specialized services for health, including smart-health solutions. Also, as we mentioned before, the surprising revolts as of recent have pushed the government to extend the services for those with lower incomes. For example, in the Health sector the total planning to be tendered is almost 0,5 billion €. 

Coming December 2021! Stay tuned to receive our fact sheet with the main highlights and opportunities of the public procurement market of Chile.

  • Norway leads most of the world’s rankings related to wealth, quality of life, ease of doing business, together with its Nordic neighbors, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. ​
  • Its low-income inequality has been achieved through a mix of policies, allowed by its high taxes. The state redistributes wealth, directly, and also by providing excellent public services, in health and education, whilst it also promotes innovation at all levels.​
  • Its oil reserves, together with a frugal public administration, have created the wealthiest sovereign wealth fund in the world, the Norway Government Pension Fund Global, above those of China, Abu Dhabi or Kuwait. ​
  • Historically, most of the economy has been based on natural resources exploitation, including fishing, petroleum, and hydroelectric power. In the latter years, the government has focused on promoting innovation and high-technology industry in order to move away from a reliance on non-renewable resources. 

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE to help European SMEs:

  • Concerning the sectors, the cancer biotech cluster in Oslo is a good example of the country’s edge in the field; in any case, it might present opportunities for niche smart-health solutions from GOOSE firms. ​
  • An example of the country’s innovative spirit is the public policies supporting electric vehicles; as a result, half of all new cars bought in Norway are electric or hybrid. ​
  • Norway, had 11,323 public tenders totaling more than 2 BEURO in 2019, with the construction and IT sectors leading the way. ​
  • Unsurprisingly, it is worth stressing that the tender process in Norway has a high level of transparency and integrity.​
  • Although bids in English are just accepted on few occasions, there is an interesting niche of public procurement of innovation, which tend to be prone to be tendered in English. 

Coming December 2021! Stay tuned to receive our fact sheet with the main highlights and opportunities of the public procurement market of Norway.

  • The term economy in transition is still valid, for Serbia cannot yet count as a developed economy, albeit it is among the fastest growing economies in the region. ​
  • Serbia’s pre-accession status (to the EU) infers, on one side, relevant investments from Brussels, to update the country’s physical and institutional infrastructure; on the other, it means the country needs to do its homework to adapt to the “acquis communitaire”.​
  • Even so, geopolitics and historical issues may still hinder the country’s accession credentials.​
  • It has had an important influx of EU’s IPA funds, among others to address governance and rule of law, competitiveness and basic infrastructure. ​
  • It has a way ahead to adapt to the EU’s legislation; in this sense, it is currently aligning the local procurement legislation to EU’s Directives: shifting from a price based criterion to a MEAT one.​
  • Although the recent past is still taking its toll, the country has huge potential: it has good relations with other Slavic markets, such as Russia, as well as it is still a point of reference in the Balkans region.​
  • It is still suffering a noteworthy brain drain, similar to that of its neighbors (including Croatia), due to the higher salaries in next door countries, such as Austria, Switzerland, Germany…​
  • The other side of the coin: Serbians are well qualified, hard workers at competitive costs.

Opportunities to explore by GOOSE to help European SMEs:

  • The fact that local competition is low, opens the door to foreign bidders, also with financial and technical capacity to run the projects. ​
  • Local companies are eager to take part in International consortiums. GOOSE will tap into the rich network established by Slovenian companies, considering it is the second investor after Croatia, with 1 BEURO last year, and with up to 177 companies established in the country. ​
  • Serbia has embarked in ambitious transport infrastructure projects in railways, roads, airports and fluvial ports, all of which are areas subject to public procurement. The total investments in transport infrastructure alone is expected to be around 13 BEURO for the next 5-6 years. ​
  • Other sectors within the scope of public procurement with great potential during the next years are health infrastructure and equipment, clean energy (Serbia stands among the biggest air polluters in Europe), water management and disposal, and environmental projects. ​
  • Understandably, Serbia has huge challenges concerning its climate goals: it is heavily reliant on coal, and highly inefficient in its use of energy, both at the industrial and household level. In this sense, there are specific projects from development donors to tackle this issue.​
  • ICT Is Serbia’s 4th exporting sector, thanks to investment from foreign multinationals, as well as its educated workforce. Yet, that contrasts with the low path to integrate the digital technologies, in business and government.

Coming December 2021! Stay tuned to receive our fact sheet with the main highlights and opportunities of the public procurement market of Serbia.