The main goal of the World Bank is to have a world free of poverty. A very noble goal, and a goal that involves many different sectors. As a result, the World Bank works on fascinating topics, in challenging countries, with a wide range of approaches, and with the need for implementing cutting edge ideas and technologies. Who wouldn’t want to work in such an environment trying to achieve such good for the world?
Working with the World Bank opens up their network to you. Just imagine a vast market of middle- and lower income countries at your fingertips, with the World Bank giving you the assurance as if you’re working in your home market. You’d be working with top-notch professionals under international guidelines and standards, saving you some of the hassle of local government rules.
Before you jump up and start calling the World Bank, it is important to learn more about doing business with the World Bank. The guidebook ‘Zakendoen met de Wereldbank Groep’ created by the Netherlands embassy in Washington DC is a good start, while you will also find relevant information on the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
After reading the information, you may want to get in touch with an advisor to further discuss your options, opportunities, and strategy. If you are based in the Netherlands, your first point of contact is the World Bank Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO) at the ‘Team International Organisations’ at RVO, Ms. Commerijn Plomp.
RVO is regularly in touch with the embassy in Washington, DC to communicate questions and challenges that Dutch vendors have in dealing with the World Bank. The embassy in Washington is here to provide all the assistance and advice needed to work with the World Bank headquarters. This ranges from explaining general World Bank procedures to conflict resolution concerning payments and tendering of projects. Being located in Washington DC provides us with the opportunity to work directly with staff at the WB headquarters to get inside information on projects, the direction of a global practice, and to ask the ‘hard’ questions. We organize missions and Brown Bag Lunches (BBLs) for companies who are focused on the upstream part of the business.
We are in constant contact with the office of the Dutch Executive Director, Mr. Frank Heemskerk. Besides their role as supervisor of the World Bank strategy, the EDs office is also very willing to assist Dutch businesses looking to work with the World Bank to achieve its Twin Goals. In a way, we are the ‘ears on the ground’ and have the local contacts and understanding to navigate the World Bank.
Questions about specific tenders or (upcoming) projects can also be sent to the Netherlands Embassies in the country the project is being executed in. For example if you find a tender that is being executed in Indonesia, we would suggest you send an email to the embassy in Jakarta. Email addresses can be found on the websites of the embassies, which you will find at www.mfa.nl. Our colleagues in the country may be able to visit the World Bank country office and obtain relevant information that helps you in preparing for a tender. We would much appreciate a CC so we may be able to help you from the Washington side of the project.
In conclusions, if you are interested in doing business with the World Bank, here are your options:
- Contact Commerijn Plomp at RVO in the Hague;
- Contact the liaison officers at the Netherlands embassy in Washington DC;
- Contact the Netherlands embassy in the recipient country (please CC Washington DC and RVO).
We hope to hear from you soon!