Discusses the legal requirements for selling to the host government, including whether the government has agreed to abide by the WTO Government Procurement Agreement or is a party to a government procurement chapter in a U.S. FTA. Specifies areas where there are opportunities.
Last Published: 7/22/2019
Many government purchases are made by public tenders, which are usually advertised in the local media and increasingly through government websites.  The government has publicly committed to follow international government procurement standards but implementation often international procurement standards is weak, especially for projects and goods not funded through international financial institutions.  . Well-informed local agents can be the key to winning these tenders, though even the most connected local firms have trouble navigating the labyrinth of the government-tender process.  Previously, tender specifications being drawn up to suit a particular company’s product was standard practice.  It is a common belief that the tender process lacks transparency and accountability.  The GSL is reviewing a plan to award large development projects utilizing a “Swiss Challenge” process where an unsolicited project proposal by a company to the GSL is put forward for public review and other interested parties are invited to submit counter proposals.  However, the practice of accepting unsolicited proposals without competing bids seems to be continuing.
Local agents also often represent more than one foreign supplier, so when they encounter difficulties, including charges of possible corruption, they are reluctant to voice concerns fearing it will jeopardize other business interests.  It can sometimes be difficult to get an objective appraisal from local agents.

Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks. Please refer to the “Project Financing” Section in “Trade and Project Financing” for more information. 
Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

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Sri Lanka Business to Government Legislation