Brussels, 4 April 2014
Commission welcomes the revised World Trade Organisation's Agreement on Government Procurement
The European Commission welcomes the entry into force on 6 April 2014 of the revised World Trade Organisation's Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), the only legally binding agreement in the WTO on the subject of government procurement.
Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said: “I warmly welcome the entry into force of the revised GPA concluded in December 2011. The revised GPA will give businesses in the countries that are party to the agreement significant additional opportunities on each other’s’ public procurement markets. It will also make public procurement rules in the GPA jurisdictions more transparent and predictable, in line with the spirit of the recently adopted reforms of EU public procurement rules. I invite all the GPA parties that have not yet ratified it to do so and hope that the entry into force of the revised GPA will pave the way for other WTO members to join in the near future.”
The GPA is the only legally binding agreement in the WTO on the subject of government procurement. In total, 15 parties are currently part of the agreement (the EU with respect to its 28 Member States along with Armenia, Canada, Hong Kong (China), Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, The Netherlands with respect to Aruba, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and the United States).
The negotiations on an updated set of tender rules and additional market access commitments were concluded successfully on 15 December 2011, with the final text of the revised GPA being signed on 30 March 2012.
The revised GPA enters into force 30 days following the deposit by two-thirds of GPA parties of their instruments of ratification. Ten GPA parties have accepted the protocol: the European Union, Liechtenstein, Norway, Chinese Taipei, the United States, Hong Kong (China), Iceland, Singapore and Israel. On 6 April 2014 the revised GPA will enter into force for those GPA parties. As Japan ratified the revised GPA on 17 March 2014, the revised GPA will enter into force for Japan on 16 April 2014.
The revised GPA streamlines and modernises the text of the GPA. Businesses in countries that are party to the agreement will gain better market access because numerous government entities (ministries and agencies) and new services and other areas of the public procurement activities have been added to the GPA’s scope of application. According to WTO estimates, the revision of the GPA will bring extra procurement opportunities worth around € 80 billion.
Moreover, the revised GPA should attract and make it easier for new members to join. Ten WTO Members including China, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand and Ukraine, are in the process of negotiating accession to the GPA.
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