21 December 2010 | Angeline Albert
Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have agreed to a procurement deal that will allow them to compete in each other's public purchasing markets.
The procurement pact was among a package of agreements, signed on 17 December, to establish a Single Economic Space - a market where goods, capital, workforce and services are freely available.
Belarus and Russia have pledged to introduce a data system to make e-auctions a main form of public procurement by 1 January 2012. Kazakhstan will introduce a data system by 1 July 2012.
Kazakhstan must overhaul its public procurement processes by 1 January 2014 to bring them up to scratch. It is at this point that Kazakh companies will be allowed to enter the public procurement markets of Russia and Belarus.
In Belarus, deputy prime minister Andrei Kobyakov said its public procurement legislation would be brought in line with Russia's to help Belarusian companies bid for contracts with either government.
He added: "The adjustment will help optimise foreign purchases, escape non-competitive ways of procurement, and master the e-auctions. The government has submitted a draft decree on e-auctions and tenders to the president."
Kobyakov said the Belarusian government is in the process of drafting a law on public procurement.