On average, sales of goods and services to government agencies and entities account for 10-15 percent of a country’s GDP. Furthermore, unlike private sector opportunities, governments may be required to publicly distribute information about the goods and services they are seeking to buy. Governments buy the same goods and services as private buyers – from toilet paper to technology services. Generally known as “government procurement”, one’s government is an attractive market for many businesses.
What about trading with foreign governments? As a result of various trade agreements, a number of governments have agreed to open such opportunities to bidders from beyond their national borders. This may include bidders in your country.
The WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) provides rules to make the process by which a government procures goods and services open and fair. The Agreement also states that reserving these opportunities for domestic suppliers is a barrier against the free movement of goods and services. So, we can expect to see more and more governments providing opportunities to trade with them.
How do you find out about these opportunities? Here are two places you can start:
Countries which have signed the WTO GPA have already opened up their government procurement activities worth an estimated US$ 1.7 trillion annually to international competition.
This link takes you to information about selling your goods and services to dozens of foreign governments as well as international organizations.
Yes, it’s another market about which you will need to learn the rules and personalities. But, no matter what you sell, trading with foreign governments is an option for you. There is no need to limit the size of your potential market.