Helping MSMEs join global markets via UN Global Marketplace
Business Mirror
October 26, 2016

GENEVA, Switzerland—The electronic procurement system of the United Nations, referred to as the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM), can become a significant additional market for Philippine exporters on improving access by Philippine micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the international markets.

The Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Geneva participated in a briefing earlier this month on how to do business with the UN. The Philippines is currently the 51st supplier in 2015, amounting to $58 million or a share of 0.34 percent for both goods and services.

The UNGM is a combined portal for the procurement activity for all 26 international UN agencies and represents an annual global market of over $17 billion for all types of products and services. The UN and its agencies present a huge market for Philippine MSMEs who can supply the procurement needs of the UN.

To turn these opportunities into actual business transactions, it is essential to know how the UN organization works, how the procurement process is conducted, what items are most often procured and which agencies have the largest purchasing budgets.

For example, the UN peacekeeping troops are the largest armies in the world. (See fact sheet.) Philippine enterprises can explore how to supply basic needs, such as apparel (helmets, uniforms), personal-care products, furniture and furnishings, emergency-relief items (tents, tarpaulin, beddings, food items, telecommunications equipment) and transportation (armored vehicles), among others.

The key benefits for an enterprise considering to do business with the UN are  the large number and variety of business opportunities; tenders are backed with funds; working language is English; and the payment is usually received in two months.

To register as a potential supplier of the UN, go to the UNGM homepage ( and click on the “Register” link in the top menu. Registration is free of charge.

The Department of Trade and Industry, in coordination with PTIC-Geneva, will hold a business seminar on “How to Do Business with the UN” at the Usapang Exports. For details, please contact Export Marketing Bureau’s Export Assistance and Business Matching Division at (+632) 465-3300 Extension 104.

Peacekeeping fact sheet as of August 31, 2016

Note: Statistical information on uniformed personnel is as of August 31, 2016. Statistical information on UN Volunteers is as of July 31, 2016. Statistical information on civilian staff is as of July 31, 2015, unless otherwise specified.

    Peacekeeping operations since 1948: 71

    Current peacekeeping operations: 16


    Uniformed personnel: 100,019 (as of August 31, 2016)

    Troops: 85,442

    Police: 12,885

    Military observers: 1,692

    Civilian personnel: 16,471 (as of July 31, 2015)

    International: 5,256

    Local: 11,215

    UN volunteers: 1,575 (as of 31 July 2016)

    Total number of personnel serving in 16 peacekeeping operations: 118,792

    Countries contributing uniformed personnel: 123

    Total fatalities in current operations: 1,731

    Total fatalities in all peace operations since 1948: 3,508


Approved resources for the period from  July 1, 2016, to  June 30, 2017: About $7.87 billion

List of major                                  List of major

goods procured                              services procured

agricultural inputs                           aviation

domestic/household items                catering and  food delivery

educational supplies                        construction

food                                            consultancy

fuel                                             engineering


IT equipment                                freight

laboratory equipment                     general


medical equipment                        insurance

pharmaceutical                             investment

supplies                                      management

shelter and housing                       leasing or rental

telecommunications                      outsourced personnel

equipment                                  services

vehicles                                     printing

water supply                              telecommunications

equipment                                 security

Top 10 countries supplying the UN

    United States of America


    United Arab Emirates






    United Kingdom