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MIF approves $1.2 million to facilitate participation of small businesses in government procurement

Innovative projects will be developed in the Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Nicaragua

The Multilateral Investment Fund ( MIF ) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the approval of a grants totaling $1.2 million to fund five projects that use information and communication technologies (ICT) to help small businesses participate in public e-procurement processes in the Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

Under the program “Strengthening Public Procurement Systems through ICTs and MSMEs participation (ICT4GP)", the MIF will support the implementation of best practices and use of the ICT to promote efficiency, transparency and MSMEs participation in government procurement.

Fredy Bentancurt Prada, program coordinator, explained that the public procurement market reaches between 15% and 20% of GDP, representing more than $750 billion a year. However, MSMEs face large barriers to access these sales opportunities.

"The ICT4GP program provides mechanisms to increase MSMEs participation in these processes, building capacity in more than 500,000 microentrepreneurs through the 15 projects to be approved in the next four years," said Bentancurt.

The first five projects to be financed under the ICT4GP are: 

Automating Public Procurement Processes. It will be executed by the Ministry of Finance and its objective is to contribute to the modernization of Government procurement systems that will be more aligned to regional and international standards with new provisions for promoting the participation of MSMEs.

Promoting MSMEs access to public procurement processes. This project will adapt the federal government procurement system to include Comprasnet, a portal that facilitates MSMEs participation in public procurement. It will be executed by the Logistics and Information Technology Secretariat within the Ministry of Planning.

Public Procurement Market Platform. This project will be executed by the Public Procurement and Contracts Office (ChileCompra). It will develop a platform to analyze information managed by the procurement system, and will generate information services that will reduce costs, improve efficiency and provide better services to procurement processes participants, particularly MSMEs.

Promoting MSMEs Participation in Public Procurement. This project will integrate computer systems managed by actors involved in the procurement process in order to facilitate and encourage greater MSMEs participation. The National Institute of Public Procurement will execute the project.

Strengthening Local Public Procurement through ICT. This project will implement an electronic procurement system to improve management, transparency, and MSMEs access to public procurement processes. The project will be developed by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.

The ICT4GP program is co-financed by the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC). During its implementation it has joined forces with the MIF, the IDB’s Modernization of State and Procurement Departments, and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The MIF is the largest provider of technical assistance to the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. As a member of the IDB Group, the MIF’s overall focus is to support equitable economic growth and poverty reduction by increasing Access in three areas: Access to Finance, Access to Basic Services and Access to Markets and Capabilities

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