Why you need to be aware of government procurement as a business owner

Public contracts are contracts entered into between a government agency and an enterprise to perform works, supply products or provide services. In Belgium, several public authorities award public contracts, including the federal government, the Flemish government and local authorities. Public contracts must comply with regulations based on European directives. Among other things, these regulations determine how contracts must be advertised, awarded and executed.

Public procurement is an important source of revenue for many companies, from small SMEs to multinational corporations. In this article, we give you five reasons why it is interesting for you, as an entrepreneur, to be aware of recent public contracts in your field, and why it may be worthwhile for you to compete for a public contract. We illustrate this with examples from different sectors, such as construction, architecture, ICT and others.

1. Public procurement is a large and stable market

The public sector is a major customer, spending billions of euros annually on a variety of projects and purchases. According to the European Commission, public procurement represents about 14% of the European Union's gross domestic product (GDP). In Belgium, this amounts to about 50 billion euros a year. This means that for every sector and every specialization, there is a public contract to suit your offer.

Moreover, public procurement is a relatively stable market, less sensitive to economic fluctuations than the private sector. After all, the government has a long-term vision and a social responsibility to invest in infrastructure, education, health, safety, environment and other areas that are essential for the well-being of citizens. Thus, even in times of crisis, the government remains a reliable customer.

An example of a sector that benefits from government procurement is the construction industry. The government is an important client for construction companies, which are involved in projects such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, sports centers, social housing and other public buildings. According to the Construction Confederation, public contracts represent about 30% of the total turnover of the construction sector in Belgium.

2. Public procurement provides opportunities for innovation and sustainability

The government is not only a large customer, but also a demanding one. The government places high demands on the quality, safety, efficiency and sustainability of the products and services it purchases. After all, the government wants to get value for money, but also contribute to societal goals such as energy transition, digital transformation, social inclusion and the circular economy.

This means that public procurement offers opportunities for companies that want to innovate and stand out in terms of sustainability. By competing for a public contract, you can demonstrate your expertise, expand your references and increase your competitive advantage. Moreover, you can benefit from cooperation with other partners, such as research institutions, centers of excellence or other companies, involved in complex or multidisciplinary projects.

An example of a sector that has opportunities to innovate thanks to public procurement is the ICT sector. After all, the government needs digital solutions to improve its services, optimize its processes and manage its data. Think, for example, of projects such as e-government, e-health, e-learning, e-invoicing, cybersecurity, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. According to Agoria, digital public procurement represents about 10% of the total ICT market in Belgium.

3. Government contracts can enhance your reputation and network

Another benefit of government contracts is that they can enhance your reputation and network. Indeed, by performing a government contract, you can increase your visibility, enhance your credibility and expand your references. You can thus increase your brand awareness among potential customers, suppliers or investors.

Moreover, by carrying out a public contract, you can expand your network with other actors involved in the project. You can thus establish new contacts with other companies, authorities or organizations active in your sector or domain. You can thus establish new partnerships or create new opportunities for future projects.

An example of a sector that can strengthen its reputation and network through public procurement is the architecture sector. The government is an important client for architectural firms, which are involved in designing public buildings or spaces that must be aesthetic, functional and sustainable. Performing a government contract allows architects to show their creativity, expand their portfolio and maintain relationships with other professionals such as engineers, contractors or urban planners.

4. Public procurement can improve your competitive position

One of the benefits of government contracts is that they can improve your competitive position. By competing for a government contract, you can demonstrate your expertise and credentials, increase your brand awareness and expand your network. In addition, you can benefit from the stability and reliability of the government as a customer. Government contracts can also be a source of innovation if you can offer new solutions that meet the government's needs.

Public contracts are available for all sectors, from construction to IT. For example, as a construction company, you can compete for contracts to design, build or renovate public buildings, roads, bridges or other infrastructure. As an architect, you can show your creativity and vision when designing public spaces, monuments or landscapes. As an ICT company, you can capitalize on the digital transformation of government, by providing software, hardware, cloud services or cybersecurity, for example.

5. Public procurement is more accessible than you think

Another reason to track government contracts is that they are more accessible than you might think. This is because the government wants to create a fair and transparent market, giving all companies an equal opportunity to compete for a contract. Therefore, in most cases, the government must make its contracts public.

Moreover, different procedures are possible for awarding a public contract, depending on the type and value of the contract. For example, there are open procedures, where any interested company can submit a bid, and non-public procedures, where the government first selects suitable candidates. There are also negotiated procedures, where the government itself procures a number of companies without announcing the contract. There are also specific procedures such as competitive dialogue and innovation partnership, in which the government works with companies to find the best solution for a complex contract.


Government procurement is an interesting opportunity for many companies, regardless of their size or sector. Staying abreast of public procurement in your sector can help you improve your competitiveness and gain access to a large and stable market. Moreover, government procurement is more accessible than you think, thanks to the various procedures and platforms available. Want to learn more about how you can successfully compete for a government contract? Then contact our team of experts at TenderWolf. We will be happy to help you!

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