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Government Procurement Officials Meet to Share Sustainable Procurement Experiences

28 November 2019

Vientiane, 27-29 November 2019 - ASEAN officials from Indonesia’s National Public Procurement Agency, Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, Philippines’ Government Procurement Policy Board, Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment, together with Australia’s Department of Finance and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and New Zealand’s Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, convened in Vientiane at a Symposium to discuss and share experiences on the topic of sustainable procurement this week. 

Host country, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, also had a strong contingent join the Symposium, with representatives from a number of ministries including their Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Trade Policy, and Department of Planning and Cooperation. 

The inaugural Symposium was held over three days and was designed to allow participating officials the opportunity to share their experiences on sustainable procurement, explore ways that their countries have implemented sustainable procurement, and build the first procurement community of practice for ASEAN Member States, Australia and New Zealand. 

Mr Saysana Sayakone, Director General of the Department of Foreign Trade Policy, Ministry of Industry and Commence, opened the Symposium, “While the agenda for the Symposium is very busy, it is an opportunity to listen to experts, discuss the topic of sustainable procurement, a chance for questions and answers and share knowledge. It will help many countries to increase knowledge of government procurement issues.” 

The Symposium aimed to increase participants knowledge of international best practices, including the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ISO 20400 Environmental Standards Guide. The Symposium was a platform to build and strengthen participants professional procurement networks between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand.

As noted by Ms Thuan Nguyen Thi Minh, from the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vietnam, “The Symposium provided a great opportunity to discuss innovations and solutions applied in relation to sustainable procurement in other countries and learn from their experiences.”

The Symposium was organised by the Australian Government’s Department of Finance, with the support from the ASEAN Secretariat, under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Support Program (AECSP). This is the first initiative on government procurement that has been undertaken on an international scale in the region, with the aim to build a sustainable program to support government procurement officials, build knowledge and practical expertise in the region, and provide avenues to share resources, skills and techniques.
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