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UN Seeks Suppliers at China's Largest Trade Fair
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The United Nations Procurement Service (UNPS) on Monday opened a trade promotion center for Chinese business people at the 101st Chinese Import and Export Commodities Fair, China's largest trade exhibition.


The UNPS-Canton Fair Promotion Center will serve as a platform for Chinese companies to supply the UN and is expected to greatly boost the UN's procurement from China.


Chinese commodities are very competitive in both price and quality, but many Chinese companies missed business opportunities with the UN due to a lack of information and knowledge of the rules and processes of UN procurement, said Yavar Khan, chief of the UNPS procurement headquarters.


Khan said any companies holding ISO 9000 certification and operating for at least three years with a stable financial status were eligible to supply the UN.


Chen Zhaoren, deputy director of the China Foreign Trade Center, an organization under the Ministry of Commerce, said firms supplying the UN were exempted from tariffs and would encounter no trade barriers.


UN procurement has attracted many small and medium-sized Chinese companies. More than 2,000 Chinese firms have become registered suppliers at the UNPS since it launched the first promotion campaign at the Canton Fair in 2000. However, the figure is only 1 percent of the world's total.


Khan expressed the hope that more Chinese companies will be involved in UN procurement after the center established.


The UNPS spends more than US$30 billion annually on products and services for UN agencies, peace-keeping troops, and other activities. Foodstuffs, medical items, machinery and electronic components top the list of purchases.


(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2007)

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