WTO revises government procurement deal

Canada to benefit from expanded opportunities in government procurement markets

December 19, 2011
by Purchasing b2b staff

The Government of Canada is welcoming the conclusion of negotiations in Geneva to modernize the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and expand market access opportunities for the 15 parties—covering a total of 42 WTO members—to the agreement.

“The agreement is good news for Canadian businesses and workers,” said Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. “Expanded access to the procurement markets of other GPA parties will result in new opportunities for Canadian businesses and new jobs for their workers.”

It’s expected the agreement will be ready for signature by April 2012. Fast said the revised agreement means Canadian businesses will have greater access to the government procurement markets of other GPA parties for a range of goods and services. According to WTO estimates, the value of new market access opportunities is expected to be between $80 and $100 billion and rise to $450 billion once new WTO members gain accession to the GPA. As the primary international instrument governing procurement, the GPA’s rules and procedures are designed to strengthen the efficiency of the procurement process and the effective management of public resources. The agreement is the only legally binding agreement in the WTO focusing on the subject of government procurement.

The announcement is expected to help spur the accession of new parties to the agreement, including emerging and fast-growing economies such as China.