I Am a Foreign Supplier: How Can I Participate in a Government Tender in Ethiopia?

The general guidelines for participating in a tender in Ethiopia can be found here. But as a foreign supplier, one has to officially nominate an agent in Ethiopia and the agent has to fulfill the requirements in the guideline. The agent can buy the tender documents and send them over to you. If you decide to participate in the tender, you can prepare the tender document and send them to the agent via fax and the sealed copy via courier to the agent. The agent will submit the tender documents.

Some Tips

  • If you are a trading house and do not manufacture the goods, you may be sometimes asked to present a certificate from the manufacturer that shows you have been nominated or you have the backing of the manufacturer.
  • You will usually be asked to prepare a bid bond/bid security of 2%. It should reach the bank (in Ethiopia) nominated by the company that floated the tender before the deadline. The bid bond will be released to you if you do not win the tender.
  • Don't send the exact 2%, send a little extra. That way you can avoid the risk of your competitors knowing your price.
  • The agent will ask you some percentage of commission (the percentage depends on the type of product, etc). But usually the agent will be logical enough to know that more commission means higher price and hence higher risk of losing the tender.
  • If you win the tender, you will usually be asked to deposit a performance bond of 10%. The money should be released to you after the goods have been discharged and inspected and found to be according to the specification in your original offer/ according to the tender document.
  • You can find agents on the agents section of the Ethiopian Business Directory of 2merkato.com; importers sometimes want to act as agents as well. You may find them on the importers section of the Ethiopian Business Directory of 2merkato.com. But you should always check their experiences in handling a tender.

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