The Public Procurement Service (PPS) plans to export Korea ON-line E-Procurement System (KONEPS), called the "Narajangteo" in Korean, to countries in North-West Africa, Asia, and Latin America. "Through exports of the nation's e-procurement system, we plan to build close cooperation with the countries and spread the Narajangteo to their neighboring countries in the near future," a senior PPS official said. KONEPS is an electronic procurement system that systemizes all procurement businesses into one and it will effectively provide public institutions with materials, facilities and services they need at a proper time.
An official stated, "In keeping with Korea's hosting of G20 meeting this year and Korea's joining of OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), we are making all-out efforts to contribute to economic development of developing countries through the setup of e-procurement system." In line with this, PPS is moving to hand down its successful experience & know-how on the Narajangteo and advanced procurement system to developing countries, not to mention exporting e-procurement system.
MOU Conclusion with 13 Countries
Currently, a growing number of countries hope to benchmark Korea's Narajangteo to improve their procurement systems. Related to this, 13 countries, including Vietnam and Costa Rica, concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the PPS. It also conducted feasibility study on construction of e-procurement system in seven countries such as Vietnam, Pakistan, Georgia, Mongolia, Costa Rica, Uzbekistan and Tunisia. Under the MOU, government officials from Vietnam and Colombia visit the PPS more than once a month to receive education on Korea's Narajangteo system.
In the process of spreading Narajangteo system to foreign countries, Korean firms are expected to get more chances to advance into overseas markets. "For instance, many Korean companies are participating in feasibility study on construction of e-procurement system and other projects to build relevant facilities in foreign countries, including Tunisia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Costa Rica," he said. Through the project to spread Narajangteo to foreign countries, Korea's software and IT consulting companies are accumulating their know-how on overseas projects and improving their international competitiveness.
Overseas Spread of the Brand of Korea Via Narajangteo
Korea is now facing a new turning point to herald its national brand to foreign countries on the occasion of its joining of OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC). It is because that if Korea extends financial assistance to developing countries, construction of procurement system to use the aid funds becomes an important task for the countries.
By handing down Korea's successful know-how on operation of Narajangteo and advanced procurement system to developing countries, Korea can play a leading role in dealing with international issues and enhancing transparency of assistance, he said.
Exports of Narajangteo
Korea exported Narajangteo system, which is regarded as "e-procurement best practice model" in global society, to Vietnam and Costa Rica for US$3 million and US$8.3 million, respectively. The Narajangteo system was completed in November 2004 in Vietnam with the US$3 million assistant funds from KOICA.
With the nation's first export of the Narajangteo system, Korea has built a close relation with Vietnam, establishing a bridgehead for Korean companies to advance into the Southeast Asian market in the near future, the official said. It is the great achievements of economic diplomacy as Korea's IT companies built e-procurement system in a foreign country, he said.
In Costa Rica, the Mer-Link (e-procurement) system is being built for completion in March 2010, with the country's own budget of US$8.4 million. PPS dispatched relevant experts to Costa Rica to transfer technology and consulting service on construction of e-procurement system and its operation, he said. "This project will provide PPS with golden opportunities to advance into Latin American region down the road. In particular, Latin American countries are paying keen attention to e-government system nowadays. Accordingly, not only PPS but also Korean companies are expected to have good chances to enter the Latin American market in the near future," said the official.
Introduction of Narajangteo
Narajangteo carries out all procurement businesses between some 40,000 public institutions and about 170,000 supplying companies through online. It has grown into the world's big e-procurement market with an annual trade volume of about KRW86 trillion. A PPS official stated, "It is the nation's comprehensive electronics procurement system propelled by the government of Seoul to realize e-government. By making all government procurement administrative procedures online, it offers one-stop procurement service for both public institutions and supplying companies."
He went on to say, "It is aimed at carrying out the procurement business effectively and rapidly, enhancing transparency of the nation's procurement administration, and saving expenses through removal of ineffective administrative businesses." One of the biggest characteristics of Narajangteo is the integration of all public institutions, including state institutions, provincial governments and public corporations, into a single network. In addition, all procurement procedures have been simplified and standardized through procedures of the system, doubling transparency and effectiveness.