|Public Procurement Service (PPS) administrator Jung Moo-kyung speaks at his office in Daejeon, Nov. 14. Courtesy of PPS|
'Effective public procurement drives sustainable growth'
By Lee Kyung-min
Korea is seeking to become a leader in the global procurement market by ramping up efforts to create an ecosystem whereby public programs foster sustainable, innovative growth, the head of the state-run procurement service agency said Friday.
Public Procurement Service (PPS) administrator Jung Moo-kyung considers it an extremely viable goal amid growing consultation and joint project requests filed with the agency from around the world.
Jung believes the agency's stringent management in purchasing innovative products with a competitive edge will boost business expansion for local producers, a cycle that could become a sustainable business model applicable on the global stage.
"Innovative products undergo rigorous testing for marketability, a process strengthened by constant feedback from reviewers to remove shortcomings. This in turn leads to improving product quality and boosting competitiveness of the producers, a task and goal we are glad to aspire to," he said in an interview with The Korea Times.
Among the valued products are military drones with sales reaching 1 billion won ($855,651) in only five months after being released on the market in December 2018.
Similar or much greater successes from different industries could be in order given the continued rise in inquiries from global procurement authorities, especially about products with applied information technology (IT), a strong suit for the highly technologically advanced country.
"Successful local companies have combined IT with their products. We plan to help developers of innovative products identify sales channels overseas," he said. The PPS head plans to launch an online platform whereby quality products will be traded in the early half of 2020.
|Public Procurement Service (PPS) administrator Jung Moo-kyung speaks at the Global Public Procurement Marketplace 2019, at the Intercontinental Seoul COEX in Samseong, southern Seoul, Nov. 6. Courtesy of PPS|
Meanwhile, Jung deserves much credit for the successful hosting of the Global Public Procurement Marketplace, a three-day public procurement fair in Seoul in November.
Jointly organized by the PPS, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the event drew rave reviews from the participants including bodies under the United Nations (U.N.), and buyers and procurement authorities from around the world.
This led to a combined $12.35 million in global procurement deals signed by local firms. It adds to the previous success in April when it drew $12.64 million in similar deals at a separate PPS-organized event.
|Procurement authorities of many governmental and international organizations consult Korean firms over ways to enter global procurement market at the Global Public Procurement Marketplace 2019, at the Intercontinental Seoul COEX in Samseong, southern Seoul, Nov. 6. Courtesy of PPS|
More comprehensive support will be in store before the year's end, as a team comprised of officials from SMEs, the PPS and KOTRA will be dispatched to the U.N. Procurement Plaza in Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 26, to promote Korea's products and services for U.N.-commissioned procurement projects worth about 20 trillion won.
Real-time information on the bidding status is available at a website ― pps.go.kr/gpass ― launched Aug. 1.
Jung said he will continue to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), many of which will be able to find growth opportunities overseas via a PPS-mediated business expansion program overseas.
This is because the state-run central purchasing body has years of experience and expertise optimized for "turnkey" by which international procurement contracts are governed.
Under the turnkey project, a supplier agrees to turn it over to the purchaser when it is ready for full operation with discretion on specifics largely left to the former.
Before entering bidding, he noted, SMEs must obtain accreditation, a crucial prerequisite to qualify as an eligible public procurement project participant.