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Organized by BasqueTrade together with ICEX and in collaboration with different Development and Internationalization Agencies, the VI Meeting of Tendering Companies was held in Bilbao, bringing together nearly 200 small, medium and large companies from Spain, France and Belgium, among other countries.

Between February 7 and 11, companies, entities and institutions were able to establish contacts and B2B meetings through an online platform specifically prepared to facilitate interaction among the 300 people who participated in this VI Meeting. It also included a special session dedicated to the presentation of the new 2021-27 multiannual program for European external action, as well as the different lines of action of this instrument in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Balkans, the Eastern and Southern Neighborhoods and Turkey.

Elisa Carbonell, General Director of business internationalization at ICEX, Spain Export and Investment, together with Iván Fernández, Director of Competitive Intelligence at Basque Trade & Investment / Basque Internationalization Agency, opened a rich informative program led by Alberto Gavín, Multilateral Project Manager at the Basque Internationalization Agency, who focused the meeting on the presentation of ‘Europe Global’, the main financial tool, together with the Instrument for Pre-Accession Support (IPA III) to support the European Union’s External Action.

This is a major commitment that will see the allocation of nearly 80 billion euros to different programs outside the EU, including projects for sustainable economic development, the environment and climate change. Together with this tool, Javier Fernández, International development and cooperation administrator, presented the new ‘Global Gateway’ channel that seeks to finance projects in infrastructure, transport, digitalization, sustainable energy, among other projects.

From the point of view of the proposal for the submission of proposals for tenders, Isabel Fajardo, Legal Officer of the European Commission, explained that there is a “transition model for the electronic submission of applications that will facilitate the administrative part of the tenders coming from the European Commission.” Carbonell also explained that the implementation of this new model will take about 2 years. “A new tool, called, ‘eSubmmision’ will be put in place that allows electronic operators to digitally submit requests for participation or bids in a structured way,” he detailed.

For her part, Macarena Ruíz San José, Cooperation Officer, explained the commitment being made by the European Commission to Africa in terms of ‘partnership and equal member,’ given that a large investment of the External Plan has been earmarked for this continent. The main strategic areas to which this investment will be allocated are energy and green transition, digital transformation, sustainable development and job creation, peace support, security and governance, and migration and mobility.

With regard to the Mediterranean countries and Turkey, Ilektra Tsakalidou, Program Officer of the European Commission dedicated to this region, stressed that the European External Action Plan will also give great importance to collaboration with this geographical area: “Despite the fall in employment due to the effect of the pandemic, the economic situation is recovering and we have seen that it offers us a very diverse economy and we want to turn these challenges into opportunities,” he said. Likewise, during the presentation, the great weight of the investment that will be dedicated to Eastern Europe and the Balkans, as well as countries that are opting for European accession, was also underlined.

In this regard, Mate Csicsai, Leader of the Easter Partnership Coordination and Programming Team, pointed out that the main lines of European investment will be aimed at infrastructure, jobs, drinking water, as well as the region’s connectivity and trade. Roberto Estelles, EC Program Manager, explained that an investment of 9 billion euros is being prepared for the “Green Agenda, decarbonization, circular economy and decontamination of water and air, as well as to connect the Balkan region with the EU”.

With regard to Latin America, Diana Montero, Deputy Head of Unit for South America and Regional Operations, pointed out that sectoral and interregional cooperation will once again be cornerstones of the European external action plan in this region. The ‘Green Deals’ will be the engines of collaboration between both regions. “We are trying to catalyze development aid and promote own resources so that these countries have better tax systems as well as investments in Latin America,” she confirmed.

Jean Chrsitophe Virieu -International Aid / Cooperation Officer – Development coordination Bangladesh- addressed the main keys in the EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific area which, with an expected investment of 8.5 billion Euros, will be focused on consolidating Democracy, Human Rights and Peace, as well as other global challenges such as Health and Climate Change.

Lastly, Filippo Gabrielle La Verghetta -Team Leader Blending Experience- explained the details of the European Fund for Sustainable Development + (EFSD+) Program, which, in general terms, “will be carried out in collaboration between bilateral agencies through the collaboration of other financial institutions.” To conclude the presentations, Miguel Gómez-Pavón -Coordinator Private Sector, EU and Partnerships of AECID- explained that his agency is in charge of mediating between the companies interested in the tenders and the European Commission itself.


The VI Tendering Companies Meeting in figures:

  • 292 participants, 182 companies
  • 10 informative sessions about Exterior European Action “Europe Global” (+79 billion euros for the next 5 years: 30% for climate change, 30% for human development, infastructure, technology, innovation, transportation, communication, etc.)
  • 413 interactions between participants through the online platform
  • 77 companies had B2B meetings


Annual Meetings of Tendering Companies

They are an initiative of the multilateral working group in which public entities dedicated to business internationalization throughout the state participate and which is coordinated by the Institute for Foreign Trade, ICEX.

These include Basque Trade & Investment/Agencia Vasca de Internacionalización; ACCIÓ, Agència per la Competitivitat de l’Empresa; ASTUREX, Promoción Exterior del Principado de Asturias; Cámara de Comercio de España; Extenda. Agencia Andaluza de Promoción Exterior; Extremadura Avante; Instituto para la Competitividad Empresarial, ICE – Junta de Castilla y León; IPEX, Instituto de Promoción Exterior de Castilla-La Mancha; IVACE, Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial; SODERCAN, Sociedad para el Desarrollo de Cantabria; y Tenerife Licita, la Cámara de Comercio, Industria, Servicios y Navegación de Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Download the presentations:

Empresas Licitadoras Euskadi  Empresas Licitadoras Euskadi