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Public procurement | Brussels, 13 November 2019

European Commission’s International Public Procurement Initiative to help enhance EU companies’ access to global procurement markets

The European Commission is hosting an event to present the International Public Procurement Initiative (IPPI), the world’s first comprehensive database of detailed procurement data and barriers to international procurement.

The Commission’s new database provides detailed data on government contracts, including barriers that EU companies face. The database is the most complete of its kind, with information on nearly 40 million public contracts. The database covers nine key EU trading partners: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States.

This initiative seeks to enhance EU companies’ access to public procurement contracts in non-EU countries. The global procurement markets are worth trillions of euros and applying for government contracts outside the EU is a great opportunity for European companies. But companies often struggle to win such tenders, as they face barriers, discrimination and a lack of transparency. According to the IPPI data, EU companies face some 400 barriers to win government contracts in the nine countries covered by the IPPI alone.

The knowledge accumulated in this tool will ultimately improve EU companies’ access to procurement markets in third countries. It gives a competitive advantage to the EU, strengthens its position in trade negotiations and improves the implementation of existing market access commitments by third countries. The database can also provide a basis for similar transparency and data collection efforts at global level under the WTO Global Procurement Agreement. This would further enhance access of EU companies to government contracts worldwide.

This Initiative supports other ongoing EU efforts to create a level playing field for European companies in the world. The Commission is working intensively with the Council and the European Parliament on the International Procurement Instrument (IPI). The IPI seeks to give a leverage to the EU to negotiate better access for EU companies to procurement markets outside the EU. As an ultimate measure, it would allow the EU to restrict access of companies, goods and services to the EU procurement market, if they are from a country that is proven to apply restrictive or discriminatory treatment against EU companies.

More information

IPPI in a nutshell