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UN agency helps businesses sell goods and services to international community

UN agency helps businesses sell goods and services to international community

A two-day series of seminars sponsored by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) opened today in New York to explain how companies can do business with the world organization and to link suppliers to buyers in international organizations.

"The United Nations purchases goods and services valued at more than $3 billion annually, but many suppliers know little about how to penetrate this market," UNOPS said in a statement.

Procurement experts from the UN and other institutions are on hand at the seminars to offer guidance to suppliers in identifying sales opportunities, bidding on contracts, and understanding the intricacies of doing business with the international community.

"A lot of businesses know that the United Nations would be interested in their goods or services, but don't have a clue about whom to contact or where to look for opportunities," said Joseph Kelly of the UNOPS Division for Legal and Procurement Support. "Our business seminars are designed to eliminate the confusion and help buyers and sellers find each other."

The seminars are part of a larger event - the International Aid and Trade 2001 conference, which brings together top officials from governments, development banks, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and UN agencies to explore ways in which government procurement systems can bolster socio-economic progress in industrialized and developing countries.

UNOPS is the arm of the UN that provides project-management services in every field where the UN has a mandate - from landmine awareness to public sector reform, from informatics solutions to eradicating poverty. Upon request, UNOPS will manage development projects from start to finish or provide ad hoc services, including selecting and hiring project personnel, procuring goods, organizing training, managing financial resources and administering loans.

The International Aid & Trade 2001 conference, which is taking place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, includes a trade show where more than 350 vendors are displaying their wares to procurement representatives from the UN, non-governmental organizations and international financial institutions.