Barbados - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector
Last published date:

Selling to the Government

Some opportunities exist for selling to the government.  This is particularly the case when project financing is from international financial institutions or from foreign government aid sources that do not require purchase from donor country companies.  The government may also receive financing from regional financial institutions.  However, these projects are usually restricted to donor country companies.  Potential opportunities exist in renewable energy, construction, engineering, water and sanitation, ICTs, healthcare, and other project consultancies.  The government usually announces tenders via its central website, fee-based developmental tender announcement websites, or through local newspapers.  Tenders are submitted to and evaluated by the Contracting Authority of the Ministry and/or department.  Where tenders include after-sales service and/or training, the technical quality of such services may also be evaluated.  The government does not bind itself to accept the lowest bidder.  Government tenders require companies to provide local registration under the Companies Act.  There have been instances where the tender was published with a short submission period, and the private sector has raised questions surrounding the transparent process of some tenders.  Barbados is not a party to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement.

U.S. companies bidding on foreign government tenders may also qualify for U.S. government advocacy.  A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies.  The Advocacy Center works closely with a network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts.  Advocacy assistance can take many forms, but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government.  Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information.

Financing of Projects

Large-scale public projects are usually financed through the multilateral and regional development banks.  Depending on the sector, other large-scale projects are financed through other public or private sources. 

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales

Price, payment terms, and financing can be significant factors in winning a government contract.  Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).  A helpful guide for working with the MDBs is the Guide to Doing Business with the Multilateral Development Banks.  The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five MDBs: the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank.  The United States is not a member of the Caribbean Development Bank.

Learn more by contacting the: