(Photo: Shi Li/Chinanews)
Beijing municipal government has granted government procurement certificates to more than 500 foreign and domestic enterprises so far this year, with a further 10 companies signing agreements yesterday at the Eighth China Beijing International Expo.
Authorized companies are involved in various projects providing products and services for Beijing's government.
Industries represented range from computer hardware and software suppliers to engineering firms and sanitation specialists.
A large proportion of service providers are domestic enterprises, with local small and medium-sized companies accounting for about 50 per cent of all those signed up.
Foreign companies taken on by Beijing are mainly big names, including Microsoft, Canon and Mitsubishi.
Wu Sufang, vice-director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Finance, and currently a member of Beijing's Leading Panel for Government Procurement, pointed out that government procurement offers businesses huge opportunities.
Sources from her bureau revealed that the city's budget for 2005 government procurement is 8.6 billion yuan (US$1.04 billion), up 25 per cent from last year's 6.9 billion yuan (US$83 million).
"Given the needs of the 2008 Olympic Games, the figure is expected to go up further in the coming years," Wu added.
To enhance efficiency and transparency, a specific institute, called the Beijing Municipal Government Procurement Office, has been set up.
Its main tasks are to carrying out procurement policy, supervise implementation, and conduct statistical analysis.
"A website has been launched by our office, www.bgpc.gov.cn, to ensure the timely disclosure of information," said Wu Luyan, director of the office.
Legend, China's top computer manufacturer, has been on the Beijing government procurement list for the last four years.
"We are really proud that our products have won appreciation from the Beijing government," said Pu Wenli of Legend's North China Headquarters.
According to company sources, the Beijing-based PC conglomerate ranked top in last year's central government sourcing programme for IT equipment, beating foreign rivals Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
Legend products accounted for nearly 50 per cent of the computers the central government purchased last year, a year-on-year increase of 35.67 per cent.
Government procurement helps accelerate high-tech enterprises' development, said Liu Jun, vice-director of the Supporting Platform for Enterprise Marketing Development at Zhongguancun Science Park.
A group of high-tech companies in Zhongguancun, one of China's pioneer high-tech parks, have signed agreements with the government.
"Besides Legend and Tsinghua Tongfang, the majority of companies involved are small and medium scale," said Liu, adding that involvement in government procurement boosted companies' corporate image and helped enlarge the size of their business.