Procurement recognised as critical for good governance and foreign investment
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK) are hosting a third regional conference on “Public Procurement as a Strategic Function” on 24 and 25 May 2016 in Zagreb at the HGK Headquarters.
The goal of the conference is to equip participants with the skills and knowledge to improve the quality of their public tender preparation and increase their opportunities to win contracts for EBRD-financed projects and other public tenders. The conference is aimed at local enterprises in the region with the goal of boosting their interest and participation in public tenders as well as promoting the quality of competition in public sector projects.
EBRD speakers at the event will be Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, the Bank’s Director for Croatia; Jan Jackholt, EBRD Director, Procurement Policy Department; and Veljko Sikirica, Associate Director, Procurement Policy Adviser. HGK will be represented by President Luka Burilovic and his team. About 120 local and regional business representatives are expected to attend.
The conference follows two previous events – Sarajevo in 2015 and Belgrade in 2013 – with the aim of opening a dialogue about procurement processes in order to improve the quality of regulation and increase the successful participation of local and regional tenderers. The current public procurement laws and the general public procurement framework in most EBRD countries of operations remain largely unresponsive to the market economy and create international trade barriers.
Since 2010 the EBRD Policy Procurement department and the Bank’s Legal Transition team have been providing support to public procurement reform efforts through the grant-funded EBRD/UNCITRAL programme, the EBRD/WTO-GPA programme and a targeted approach in key countries and regions where the Bank invests.
The EBRD’s initiative addresses the important issue – which governments are also increasingly aware of – that inadequate regulation and low capacity for procurement resources has substantial economic costs. In this spirit, the conference will not only offer an opportunity to exchange views but also to discuss concrete improvements, institutional capacity building, professionalization and how these could be implemented.
The EBRD has been active in Croatia as an investor since the country’s independence and has invested some €3.5 billion in 186 projects to date. The Bank’s activities cover all areas of the economy but are especially strong in the infrastructure, corporate, financial institutions and energy sectors.