Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-11-19-Speech-2-265-000"
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"Madam President, in my constituency, Northern Ireland, public procurement plays an important role in driving the economy: it is worth approximately EUR 2.7 billion every year. Much of this has supported local small and medium-sized enterprises, allowing them to bring forward innovative solutions and products. Between 2011 and 2012, 80% of public contracts were awarded to local businesses, and this was largely the result of the work done by the Department of Finance and Personnel in reducing paperwork and administrative costs. There are benefits to the new revised WTO agreement on government procurement. The ban on companies convicted of crimes or professional misconduct is encouraging, as is the flexibility granted to regional authorities to shorten deadlines and tailor the use of electronic tools for procurement. However, it is essential, as further markets are opened up to foreign competition in this way, that local businesses should remain well equipped to compete. In Northern Ireland, local SMEs have fought their corner well and it is now time for the EU to reward them by cutting red tape and regulation."@en1
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