European International Contractors – Newsletter Σεπτεμβρίου 2018
Issue September 2018
EIC presents to you the updated Programme of the upcoming EIC Autumn 2018 Conference hosted by our Turkish Member Federation TCA in Çeşme/Izmir. We also proudly introduce the new Conference App that replaces a printed programme and offers an array of handy features.
Please remember to register for the Autumn Conference via our online Registration Form. We look forward to welcoming you in Çeşme/Izmir!
EIC Conference in Izmir: Updated Programme and New Conference App
Izmir. As EIC‘s bi-annual Conference is drawing closer, we are happy to present to you its updated program. Our Autumn 2018 Conference will take place on 04-05 October at the Sheraton Hotel in Çeşme.
Updated Workshop Programme
The Workshop at this year’s Autumn Conference hosted by EIC’s Turkish Member Federation TCA (Turkish Contractors Association) carries the title Alternative Financing Options for Infrastructure Development in the Developing World.
We look forward to an enriching Workshop that will analyse the opportunities for Infrastructure PPP schemes in the developing world, with a specific focus on Africa’s urgent infrastructure development needs. One of the goals of the Workshop will be to enhance awareness and knowledge of the building blocks of Islamic Finance and to explore how providers of Islamic Finance capital can become partners and financiers for infrastructure development.
Fully Digitised Conference Brochure: The Conference App
EIC is proud to introduce a fully digitised Conference Programme: Try out our Conference App comprising all relevant information for the EIC Autumn Conference in Çeşme. Download the App via this QR Code:
Find a detailed Conference Schedule and information on our designated Speakers
Network with fellow Conference participants in our Conference Chat
Stay informed about the Conference programme
Find a location overview and relevant addresses
Disclaimer: In order to use the app you need a one-time password. Please find the download instructions and password in our Website’s Members Area.
EIC to develop a new Africa Narrative
Paris. EIC’s Working Group Africa met on 05 July 2018 to develop a new narrative illustrating the negative impact it would have for Multilateral Development Banks, European donors and African clients, should European international contractors exit the African market.
Sustainable Infrastructure Procurement for Africa
China has been the single largest bilateral financier of infrastructure in Africa for several years, pledging an extra $60bn for the continent’s development at the China-Africa Summit this month. President Xi Jinping claims there are “no strings attached” regarding their execution by Chinese contractors.
According to the latest statistics published by ENR (“Top 250 International Contractors”), Chinese state-owned construction companies are the main executer of African infrastructure works with a market share of almost 60%. Meanwhile, civil society organisations report environmental violations, a lack of proper working contracts and poor employee safety. Against this background, EIC will advertise the benefits of sustainable infrastructure procurement towards African clients and development banks.
OECD Rules on Official Development Assistance (ODA)
Arrangements for officially supported export credits and regulations on tied aid date back to 2005, seeking to limit tied aid obligations to financially viable projects. The Helsinki tied aid packages based on the initial Regulation of 1992 represent a “gentlemen’s agreement”, not a legally binding OECD act at a national level, leaving possible exceptions from the rule of open international bidding. However, the EU has adopted this agreement as hard law, fully untying its ODA.
EIC endeavours to draft a comprehensive legal basis to argue for an introduction of restricted European ODA financing for non-commercially viable infrastructure projects to EU operators. The goal is not to thwart OECD ambitions towards untying aid, but to achieve a level playing field for African clients and increase the effectiveness and sustainability of infrastructure investment.
EIC participates in Open Government Partnership Summit
Tbilisi. EIC Director Frank Kehlenbach participated in the Open Government Partnership Global Summit that took place on 17-19 July in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi.
Better Tender Systems for Better Transport Infrastructure
The OGP Summit brought Mr. Kehlenbach to Tbilisi in his capacity as Industry Representative from the Board of the Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) Initiative. As panellist on the session titled “An Open Contracting Route to Better Transport Infrastructure”, he discussed whether more transparency in tenders could lead to better outcomes. Other panellists were the Vice Minister of the Presidency of the Government of Panama, Salvador Sánchez González, British investigative journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown and the CoST Country Manager for Ukraine, Natalie Forsyuk.
Mr. Kehlenbach emphasised that public clients in particular were still using outdated tender systems which do not allow for an integrated approach, preferring the lowest price to construction of high quality. As a consequence, innovative companies are not rewarded. He recommended using delivery mechanisms such as Partnering and Alliancing, in order to incentivise teamwork, partnership and an amalgation of expertise for a common purpose instead of adversarial behaviour. This would also decrease the risk of unethical practices.
Disclosure in Public Contracting
At the Summit, the Open Contracting Partnership launched a new report titled “Mythbusting Confidentiality in Public Contracting”. Their brief guide proposes several principles to make contracting information more transparent. It also presents a subjective assessment as to which type of contracting information is typically (not) sensitive. Back to the top
FIEC/EIC Input to EU-China Connectivity Platform
Brussels. This year, the 20th EU-China Summit took place in Beijing. It concluded on 16 July 2018 with a rather broad Joint Statement of the EU and China with both sides committing to an open world economy with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core.
Joint Statement EU & China
EIC and FIEC offered their comments on the EU-China Connectivity Platform which lists under No. 4 the joint action to
“conduct a ‘EU-China Railway Corridor Study’ to identify the most appropriate railway corridors, identify bottlenecks, identify and prioritise the missing links to improve the capacity and efficiency of rail corridors”
and, under No. 6, to
“deepen the discussion on cooperation in infrastructure standardisation [and] continue to carry out cooperation in technical standards systems for railways, highways, water transport, and civil aviation.”
Core aspects for EIC and FIEC
For EIC and FIEC, focus points of the ongoing talks between the EU and PRC are as follows:
Financing must be “untied”
Long-term economic viability of projects without subsidies is crucial to prevent countries from falling into debt
The 3 pillars of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) must always be respected
EU procurement law must be fully respected – de iure and de facto
PRC is requested to join the WTO-GPA at all levels
Awarding authorities must be held responsible to thoroughly check the lowest bid, if favoured
Fair contract conditions are paramount, preferably following accepted international standard forms
The full minutes of the Chairs’ meeting can be found online, as well as a list of European transport projects presented under the EU-China Connectivity Platform. Back to the top
FIDIC Conference in London
London. FIDIC will hold its International Contract Users’ Conference on 04-05 December 2018 in London.
The FIDIC Contracts Committee Members will join leading Contractors, Engineers, Employers, Dispute Adjudicators and Construction Lawyers, to dissect all pressing issues challenging users – from Claims, Variations and DAABs, to increasingly important areas such as BIM, Performance Securities and much more besides. The conference will be preceded by Contractors’ and Claims Workshops on 03 December and followed by Modified Contracts and Dispute Resolution Workshops on 06 December.
Kyiv. PIARC will be holding an international seminar on Strategic Planning and Performance Monitoring of Road Transport Administrations on 22-23 October 2018 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The seminar covers a wide range of topics and offers participants a good opportunity to discuss matters of common interest. This is the first ever seminar organized by PIARC in Ukraine, in collaboration with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the City of Kyiv.
Sofia. Geneva. The Dispute Resolution Board Foundation will be holding two Conferences in September and November 2018.
The ICC DRBF Conference will take place on 27-28 September 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Please find all information on the Conference online. The DRBF Regional Conference with Workshop will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14-16 November 2018. Registration and conference details will be available soon on the DRB website.