Greece is fast becoming a favourable investment destination for organisations and businesses people from across the globe. With a stable, commercially focused government and having come out of the Coronavirus pandemic relatively unscathed, the trajectory of foreign direct investment into Greece is set to continue into the future. Whilst investing in real estate is a relatively straight forward process, the process is a bit more complicated for large infrastructure organisations or major corporations investing in ports, or tendering to operate airports, conduct major construction projects or operate nationwide energy wholesale businesses. The bid and tender process needs to be navigated to secure Greek Government contracts. So what is the best way to go about wining Greek Government contracts:
Identify Tender Opportunities
Tender opportunities with the Greek government are publicly notified. The government notification website is www.eprocurement.gov.au Other government departments also provide tender notifications in addition to their being included on this portal. Smaller tender opportunities (value less than 60,000 are not required to be publicly notified). It’s important to monitor the website for opportunities in your industry, or set up alerts in order to ensure you are notified.
Establish A Local Presence
Depending on the individual tender, it is possible for foreign entities (Established in the EU and elsewhere) to tender for Greek Government contracts. We generally recommend that you establish a local presence – as a key component of many tenders are the benefits you will deliver to Greece (social and economic). A local presence assists in this regard. This does not necessarily mean you need to establish an official entity in Greece. You can establish a sub-ordinate office, or alternatively, joint-venture with a local Greek company. A JV can be a good idea when you are first establishing your operations, as your JV partner can typically assist in:
- Pricing your proposal and providing quick and easy access to local sub-contractors if required.
- Liaising with government to seek clarification on the tender documentation.
- Guiding you on what is locally considered best practice in submitting tenders and bids in Greece.
- Provide you with the unique advantage of being a Greek company bidding for a Greek tender and a track record you can leverage on for the purpose of the tender response, assuming you have no local track record.
Leverage on your Government and Embassy
Depending on what your country you are from, your embassy or trade commission will be able to assist, particularly for larger contracts. For example, let’s assume you are an Israeli organisation in the defence industry with a product you believe may add value to the Greek defence forces such as anti-UAV technology. In order to put forward an unsolicited bid to the Greek defence force, the first logical step would be to introduce your service to the Israeli embassy go from there.
Despite issues in the past, the procurement process in Greece is quite transparent. Leveraging on your Government is not going to guarantee that you will win the tender, however, it will help ensure you get a look in and a fair go.
Do your homework, particularly with respect to pricing
All of the usual best practice tender techniques need to be incorporated into your tender response process. From win themes to graphics comprehensive implementation plans, its important to put forward a comprehensive response. There’s always a bit of room for error in the qualitative components of a tender, so if you over commit it generally will not make it an unprofitable contract.
Your pricing is a different story. It’s important to gain an understanding of the costs of operations in Greece as it may differ from your country. For example, in addition to wages, there are other expenses and taxes (such as IKA) which can result in the end wage of your personnel being substantially higher than your base wage. Furthermore, there are a range of taxed in Greece on different products, which need to be accounted for developing your pricing submission. There’s no point in doing business, if it’s bad business. Your pricing must be correct and reflect the realities on teh ground and the costs of doing business in Greece.