Webinar summary: Business Opportunities Seminar with the Asian Development Bank - October 22nd
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
On October 22nd 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State of Green and the Confederation of Danish Industries organized a virtual Business Opportunities Seminar with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) focusing on Smart Cities and Smart Energy. 29 companies participated in the virtual seminar with a total attendance of 83 professionals.
Download the program here:
The webinar concluded with remarks from H.E. Jon Thorgaard, Ambassador of Denmark to Thailand and Head of the Board of Directors for Southeast Asia (SEA) and three pertinent questions from Danish SMEs attending the webinar.
Concluding remarks from H.E. Jon Thorgaard
The pandemic has forced us to find new ways of working and this ADB BOS could be a door to new opportunities. For some of you, maybe now is a good time to consider looking at Southeast Asia.
Entering into new markets may be risky but having a partner as robust as the Asian Development Bank where financing is guaranteed and where there is fairness and transparency in procurement should give you the necessary level of comfort. Indeed, consultancy agreements from Danish companies for ADB funded projects total to almost US$50M over the past 5 years and contractors and suppliers are at approx.. US$127M.
ADB’s 2030 Strategy includes: “tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability” as well as “making cities more liveable”, which are all in line with Danish strongholds. ADB’s growing operations particularly in private sector operations including the establishment of ADB ventures provide additional avenues for Danish companies offering innovative solutions to the Asian region.
The Embassies and Trade Council in Southeast Asia continue to assist Danish companies meet the relevant project and procurement officers within the ADB to learn more about the project opportunities. As an example, we have organized brown-bag sessions for companies where their expertise was introduced to different regional officers- and sector experts within the ADB.
Q: It is not entirely clear how sub-suppliers can find & secure business opportunities within ADB funded projects. If I'm an SME with a specific technology, how do I get involved?
There is some homework to be done in order to know who are the biggest players - Rustam Abdukayumov, ADB
Mr Rustam Abdukayumov, Director, Procurement Division 2, PPFD, ADB, elaborated: "We should keep in mind how ADB projects are prepared and implemented. Under each project there will be different procurement packages varying from civil works to supply of goods, equipment, and software depending on the nature of the project. ADB cannot say what packages are included in each and every project. Sub-suppliers who are interested to pursue ADB funded projects should decide which countries they are comfortable working in, identify projects via ADB's website and go through the procurement plans. If something catches their interest, suppliers can refer to the list of pre-qualified contractors, short-listed firms as well as ADB's historic records of awarded contracts to identify which contractor to approach. There is some homework to be done in order to know who are the biggest players.
Q: Does ADB maintain a technology database for project owners to source specific technologies? And if so, how would a Danish technology provider go about being listed in such a database?
We have to understand that even if borrowers are interested in introducing something new they want to see that technology being used effectively somewhere else - Rustam Abdukayumov, ADB
Mr Kee-Yung Nam, Principal Energy Economist, SDCC, ADB elaborated: "For the Energy Sector Group we don't maintain a technology database. We use communities within the ADB where we increase our knowledge of new technologies through brown-bag sessions and similar arrangements.
Mr Stephane Bessadi, Senior Procurement Specialist, PPFD, ADB added: "With regards to sector specific technologies, we recommend interested parties to reach ADB's Strategy 2030 document, where technology focus areas are summarized"
Mr Rustam Abdukayumov, Director, Procurement Division 2, PPFD, ADB, concluded: "ADB as an institution is interested to promote and introduce new technologies with our borrower countries. We have to understand that even if borrowers are interested in introducing something new they want to see that technology being used effectively somewhere else. They are not willing to pilot. Piloting in ADB will be done under technical assistance projects in a limited scale. For those technologies that have already been demonstrated elsewhere, we are happy to help. The choice of technologies is usually dealt with during project preparation and project conceptualization. As an example, 2-3 years ago in the Energy Sector we didn't have any projects using energy storage via batteries. It's not that the technology was unproven at that time. There was simply no appetite from the borrowers. Now there is, so now we have several projects promoting energy storage via batteries. ADB does not go out with a list of technologies we want to promote. It all depends on the borrowers and their interests."
Q: Are there any means/avenues by which Danish SMEs can suggest pilot projects on an ad-hoc basis to ADB? And if so, how would the pilot projects be funded? Will ADB fund through grants?
For piloting projects, ADB is dependent on borrowers who are willing to provide a testing site - Rustam Abdukayumov, ADB
Mr Rustam Abdukayumov, Director, Procurement Division 2, PPFD, ADB, shared: "We do have various technical assistance programs looking a piloting new technologies where funding is available via grants. In this process, ADB is still dependent on borrowers who are willing to provide a testing site."
Danish SMEs interested in pursuing pilot project opportunities with grant funding from ADB are encouraged to find more information via ADB's website. This is also an area where the Trade Council can provide assistance w.r.t mapping of opportunities.
Speakers (in order of appearance)
Mr Finn Mortensen, Executive Director, State of Green - "Opening Remarks"
Mr Rustam Abdukayumov, Director, Procurement Division 2, PPFD - "Introduction of Virtual BOS Goals"
Mr Hong Soo Lee, Senior Urban Specialist (Smart Cities), Urban Sector Group, SDCC - "Smart Cities"
Mr Kee-Yung Nam, Principal Energy Economist, SDCC - "Smart Energy"
Mr Jackie Surtani, Director, Infrastructure Finance Division 2 - "Private Sector Operations"
Mr Stephane Bessadi, Senior Procurement Specialist, PPFD - "Doing Business with ADB and the ADB Procurement System"
Mr Jens Thøgersen, Project Director, Ramboll - "ASEAN Australia Smart Cities Trust Fund"
H.E. Jon Thorgaard, Ambassador of Denmark to Thailand and Head of the Board of Directors for Southeast Asia (SEA) - "Closing Remarks"
Get in touch for more information about Asian Development Bank and related business opportunities:
Senior Commercial Advisor at Royal Danish Embassy Philippines