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Business procurement seminar brings Manas and local businesses together
Senior Airman Alan Ruppe, a 376th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron representative, speaks with Kyrgyz business professionals about what products the Transit Center is seeking to acquire locally during a "How to Do Business" procurement seminar at the Hyatt Regency in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, May 8, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Nichelle Anderson/ released)
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Business procurement seminar brings Manas and local businesses together

Posted 5/8/2010   Updated 5/8/2010 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Carolyn Viss
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

5/8/2010 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan  -- Transit Center at Manas contracting specialists gathered with 250 Kyrgyz business people May 8, 2010, for a "How to Do Business" procurement seminar at the Hyatt Regency, Bishkek.

Hosted primarily by the 376th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron, the bi-annual acquisition conference aims to exhibit the Manas-community partnership and commitment to fostering Kyrgyz economic and entrepreneurial development.

"Kyrgyz vendors have a competitive advantage with timely delivery of high-quality goods and services, which reduces Department of Defense logistics requirements" said Capt. Anthony D'Angelo, director of contracting. "Over the past four months, we have set-aside $2.35 million of Kyrgyz commodities, compared to $493,000 over the same period last year."

Within 12 days of the advertisement reaching local newspapers, registration for the conference was capped, the captain said. The American Chamber of Commerce handled registration and conference material, and about two dozen Airmen attended to help distribute information and make presentations on a wide range of business topics.

"Most significantly was U.S. Transportation Command's efforts and participation," Captain D'Angelo said. "We capitalized on DoD initiatives by linking Kyrgyz vendors with Defense Logistics Agency and General Services Administration prime vendors."

Nurlan Karymshakov, a businessman from the Felcom Development Group of Central Asia, was an attendee who said he hopes what he learned at the seminar will help his company obtain a contract with the Transit Center.

Vendors like him are the exact target audience the Transit Center was trying to reach.
Captain D'Angelo explained that the U.S. makes it a priority to buy, first and foremost, products made in country.

"There's a 100 percent direct benefit," he said in a conversation with another gaining contract-hopeful. "We would be using resources, labor, and direct distribution from Kyrgyzstan."

If products the Transit Center needs aren't able to be procured from Kyrgyz manufacturers, they try, secondarily, to buy products elsewhere, he explained.

"I don't want to buy outside the country if I don't have to," he said. "I want to contract and spend as much money here locally as possible."

For Kyrgyz business partners obtaining a contract with the Transit Center can be a centrifugal force in the community, to improve the local economy and increase business partnership between the U.S. and the host nation.

"There would be great benefits: job creation, awareness of American and international standards, and the opportunity for capacity building and sharing experiences with clients, prime contractors, and sub contractors," Mr. Karymshakov said.

"This was very good input," he continued. "It is very important with regard to strategic planning and further policy implementation for the U.S. government."

"It is an honor to be here, and an exciting moment for me," he said.

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