The aim of the seminar was to increase the knowledge of the business opportunities in the UN system in general, and in the humanitarian field in particular. State Secretary Dilek Ayhan from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, participated in the opening of the programme, together with ministers and political representatives from all the Nordic countries.
United Nations is one of the world’s largest procurers of goods and services from private sector, with the organisation’s second largest procurement center located in the UN City in Copenhagen. Norway’s export of products to the UN increased heavily last year. In 2014 Norwegian companies delivered goods and services for 27, 3 million dollars. The numbers for 2015 show that the export to the UN was nearly doubled to 48, 3 million dollars. The main increase is thanks to the triplication of Norwegian goods delivered to the UN last year and in particular to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). UN agencies thus represent a large and important marked for a Norwegian industry in transition.
The UN Procurement seminar gave more than 50 Norwegian businesses the opportunity to learn more about the business potentials in the UN agencies procurement system. A unique workshop was set up to assist companies to register their interest as vendors to the UN. The seminar included also interesting panel discussions on how Nordic countries can improve collaboration in order to position the Nordic comparative competitiveness in this global marked. Finally, the seminar also provided several one-to-one meetings between Norwegian companies and UN procurement officers.
The future is green
Norway’s comparative competitiveness lies first and foremost on good quality combined with sustainable solutions based on technology, according to a new report from Innovation Norway and NOREPS. Innovative digital solutions and sustainable technology will substitute parts of UNs traditional procurement. However, together with the need of innovative solutions, there is still an imperative need of procuring goods that meet people's basic needs during catastrophes and crises; clean water, food, medicine, energy and housing. A wide range of Norwegian suppliers offer relevant products and solutions that can deliver on these basic needs. By being part of the NOREPS network there is the great opportunity for collaboration between suppliers, to be able to deliver complete solutions that meet the needs and demands of the organisations.
Innovation Norway and NOREPS will continue the work to create opportunities for Norwegian companies towards the UN, and see great opportunities to further increase the Norwegian export to this global market
From the Norwegian side the seminar was planned and implemented in close cooperation between the Norwegian embassy in Denmark, Innovation Norway Denmark and the NOREPS team in Oslo.