The World Trade Organization (WTO) Global Procurement Agreement (GPA) is a landmark agreement aimed at enhancing global trade through the recognition of each other`s procurement laws and standards. The agreement was first signed in 1979 and was later revised in 2014 to expand its scope and coverage.
The GPA is a set of rules that govern the procurement of goods, services, and construction works by government entities. The agreement aims to promote fair and transparent procurement practices, improve access to government procurement opportunities for businesses, and prevent discrimination against foreign suppliers in government procurement.
The GPA covers a broad range of government procurement activities, including:
– Central government entities, such as ministries and agencies
– Regional and local governments
– Public utilities, such as electricity and water companies
– State-owned enterprises
– Public-private partnerships
The GPA sets out a number of principles and rules that government entities must comply with when procuring goods and services. These include:
1. Non-discrimination: Government entities must treat all suppliers equally and not discriminate against foreign suppliers.
2. Transparency: Government entities must provide clear information about their procurement processes and requirements and give suppliers adequate time to prepare their bids.
3. Fair and open competition: Government entities must promote fair competition among suppliers and avoid any practices that may give one supplier an unfair advantage over others.
4. Value for money: Government entities must ensure that the goods and services they purchase represent value for money and are of high quality.
The GPA also includes provisions for the resolution of disputes between government entities and suppliers. These provisions aim to ensure that disputes are resolved quickly and efficiently, without resorting to costly and time-consuming litigation.
The GPA has been ratified by over 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, and the European Union. These countries have committed to complying with the principles and rules of the GPA when procuring goods and services from other GPA members.
The GPA has had a significant impact on global trade, particularly in the area of government procurement. It has helped to open up government procurement markets to foreign suppliers, increase competition, and promote transparency and fairness in government procurement processes.
In conclusion, the WTO Global Procurement Agreement is an important agreement that has helped to promote fair and transparent procurement practices, improve access to government procurement opportunities for businesses, and prevent discrimination against foreign suppliers. By ensuring that government procurement processes are fair and open, the GPA has helped to enhance global trade and ensure that government procurement activities represent value for money and are of high quality.