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Govt procurement portal Chilecompra to move US$10bn in 2013, says director

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Chilean government procurement portal Chilecompra is aiming to move US$10bn in 2013 compared to US$9.1bn last year with purchases from some 850 public organisms, Chilecompra's director Roberto Pineda told BNamericas. Speaking on the sidelines of the Chile Digital seminar in Santiago, Chile, Pineda said there are currently some 112,000 suppliers registered with the portal. The site has grown tenfold since it was set up in 2004. However, Pineda said, "I think we've reached a ceiling. After that we will grow in accordance with how the public spending budget increases. But we have succeeded with the campaign to get buyers interested." According to the executive, public works and concessions contracts are not currently required to pass through Chilecompra, which could potentially add another US$10bn a year for the portal. The three main procurement areas for the portal are divided up almost equally amongst healthcare, municipalities, and central government. Some 90% of Chilecompra purchases are from mini SMEs, or companies with less than 50 or 60 employees and which make up 80% of all companies in Chile. That 90% accounts for some 42%, or US$3.9bn, of the total value sold through the portal. Chilecompra participates in the global networks of government procurement sites as well as working with the OECD and UN. "There are many countries that would like to be where we are today. Many are only just drawing up legislation. Others are more developed and have their own systems like Norway, Italy, England and the US. It's those countries we are comparing ourselves with," said Pineda. Chilecompra has observed how e-commerce portals work for the mass consumer and has thought of adopting criteria to rate the quality of buyers and sellers, the director said. However, given that this is a government portal, such ratings cannot be arbitrary but must be based on more concrete criteria such as certifications of sustainability, green production or social corporate responsibility.

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