On 30th May the Embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden together with the Nordic Business Alliance in Serbia organized a Seminar “Public procurement – Nordic experiences”, at the Residence of Ambassador of Finland, Pertti Ikonen. The Seminar was a continuation of the public-private dialogue between the Nordic companies and institutions and the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The aim of the Seminar was to discuss joint efforts towards further enhancement of the public procurement system in Serbia.
“Public procurement provides the services and goods for the citizens. When it works efficiently, the tax-payers can see that they are not only paying, but also receiving the first class services for themselves. Having discussed with the state representatives and the Nordic companies doing business in Serbia, we have identified a lot of room for improvement in the public procurement system, especially in regard to the application of quality criteria. For this reason, we have decided to enhance cooperation, which is a well-tested Nordic recipe, among all relevant stakeholders in this field”, Ambassador Ikonen said.
Representatives of the Nordic embassies and the Nordic Business Alliance believe that the timing of the Seminar was a well-set, having in mind not only requirements that Serbia needs to meet within its EU accession process, primarily as regards the negotiation Chapter 5, but also the ongoing public discussion about the new Public Procurement Law.
Jasmina Vignjevic, President of the Board of Governors, Nordic Business Alliance, underlined that the Nordic companies have expressed interest to cooperate more intensively with the public sector in Serbia. “Taking into account our new technologies, innovative approach in doing business as well the Nordic values, we believe that we are able to contribute to enhancement of the public sector performance and finally to the better quality of services to the citizens of Serbia. In that respect, we consider transparent public procurements as well as open and fair market competition to be very important. We expect that the new Public Procurement Law will spur the application of most economically valuable offer criteria, instead of the current practice to always choose the lowest price offer”, said Vignjevic.
After the introductory speeches, the Seminar participants had an opportunity to find out more about public procurement practices in Sweden and Denmark. Morten Kure Ringgard from the SKI - National Procurement Ltd. Denmark, underlined that the institution, he comes from, contributes to the public sector by saving over 130 million EUR every year. Ola Andersson, Director of SIDA Serbia, underlined that by improving public procurement processes, Serbia has an excellent opportunity to create a more transparent and competitive business environment. Sweden is also providing support by 1,9 million EUR to Serbia within the project "Advancing accountability mechanisms in public finances", where public procurement is an important part."
The panel discussion was an opportunity to express their views on public procurement for the representatives of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia, Public Procurement Department of the City of Kragujevac, Finnish company KONE and all other participants of the Seminar.