Tejari to Empower Online Procurement for 100 Cities through the Glocal eCities Network

Published August 29th, 2006 - 12:00 GMT

In one of the key events of the fifth annual Glocalization conference held recently in Ankara, Turkey, Tejari has signed an agreement with Glocal Forum to create an online portal to provide procurement services to a network of more than 100 city governments and mayors across the five continents.

The Glocal Forum is an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving inter-city relations by means of ‘glocalization’, a merger of global opportunities and local interests, aimed at creating a socio-economically balanced world. The Glocal Forum  brings together major international institutions like the World Bank and several specialized UN agencies, private sector partners and other global actors to work at the local level. One of the major initiatives of the forum is the Glocal eCities Network Program to enable cities to modernize their governance processes with the use of information and communication technology (ICT).

Under this new initiative, Tejari as the region’s largest business-to-business marketplace will build and manage a dedicated eCities portal and offer online procurement services to Glocal eCities Network members.  Through this Tejari-based network, Glocal members can trade and conduct business, promote their products and services, attract new vendors and negotiate business deals. In addition to these features, Glocal members will also have access to all regional trading partners registered on Tejari. This municipal driven marketplace will allow both developing and developed cities to migrate their local vendors and their procurement processes online in an attempt to create fiscal savings for developing cities creating a new concept in decentralized aid and cooperation called “virtual aid”.

“This is truly a momentous occasion for the Glocal Forum. Alongside Tejari, we look forward to advancing the interconnectivity between cities for the good of citizens.”, said Vasant-madhav Shenoy, Director of Technology Projects at the Glocal Forum

Speaking at the recently-concluded Glocalization conference, Tejari CEO Omar Hijazi stated that, “E-commerce is a demonstrated catalyst for growth and development across the region. It is already transforming the ways that governments and the private sector conduct business.”

Explaining the role of e-commerce in empowering governments he added “The Glocal eCities marketplace program can influence and impact three significant areas of development in a country --  promoting good governance through transparency and efficiency; creating economic growth and encouraging cross-border trade; and lastly and most importantly, making information technology affordable and accessible to organizations of all sizes.”

An e-procurement marketplace promotes open and competitive economy and expands economic boundaries for the small to medium size businesses (SMB). Hijazi highlighted the role of SMBs in the economic growth and development of a nation.  The eCities Marketplace will enable member cities to foster online procurement in the SMB segment. Municipalities can benefit from regional SMB vendors, and seek cheaper prices due to larger volumes and discounts, creating greater savings for the municipality and enabling transparent and accountable use of public funds.

“This is a milestone in inter-city relationship building,” said Shenoy. “The projects conceived when city leaders meet, as at the Glocalization Conference, can now be taken forward every day of the year.”

The eCities marketplace is one of the elements in the Glocal eCities Network program which includes a portal for city to city collaboration and cooperation, and Network of Cities which assists cities in upgrading their financial management and governance systems. The alliance of stakeholders who support the various elements of the program include the World Bank, UN HABITAT, Cities Alliance, Oracle, ANCI, The US Conference of Mayors and United Cities and Local Government.

The eCities marketplace estimates that it will result in significant fiscal savings for developing and developed cities, improved resource management that will allow developing cities to strengthen their social agenda and divert these savings to development. It projects that the adhesion of a city to the marketplace will open access to its local vendors to a global playing field helping create a vibrant local economy.

In a proof of concept for aggregated procurement conducted in 2004 between the cities of Rome and Kigali it was seen that there was a direct savings of over 16% on the estimated value of a tender when two cities aggregated their procurement needs.

The Glocal eCities marketplace program aims to bring about a positive change in the political and economic situation of the developing countries. Amsterdam, Addis Ababa Barcelona, Berlin, Colombo, Delhi, Hong Kong, Moscow, Seoul, Toronto, and Venice are among the cities on the Glocal eCities Network. Through the new Tejari e-procurement program, local municipalities and private sector companies in a country will be aggregated into a larger marketplace to maximize business opportunities and savings.

About Tejari
Tejari is the Middle East’s premier online business-to-business marketplace.  Tejari enables buyers and sellers to transact and share information about a variety of goods and services via a secured Internet environment.  Tejari provides a single point of contact for an open and growing community of buyers and suppliers, permitting spot-purchasing and on-line auctions that enable participants’ real-time access to new markets and greater cost savings.  Visit Tejari at http://www.tejari.com

About Glocal Forum
The Glocal Forum is a non-profit organization working to build a new relationship between the city and the global village, with the aim of contributing to peace and sustainable development.

The “glocalization” approach advocates city-centric coalition building, bringing together mayors, international institutions, private sector leaders, citizens and urban communities in order to maximize the efficiency and impact of the development process.

Since its inception, the Glocal network has grown by more than 263% and includes today 10% of the world’s major cities and a total population of over 132.million in 60 countries.  The Glocal network is made up of cities from Europe (50%), the United States (14%), Africa and the Middle East (22%), Asia (8%) and Latin America (6%).

A growing list of public and private sector partners have joined forces with this city network to create an unprecedented public-private partnership dedicated to decentralized peace building and development.

Visit The Glocal Forum at http://www.glocalforum.org



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