The World Trade Organization`s General Procurement Agreement: A Comprehensive Overview
The World Trade Organization`s General Procurement Agreement (GPA) is one of the most important agreements in international trade. This agreement regulates government procurement activities between countries that are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The GPA aims to promote fair and open competition in government procurement, thereby ensuring that the procurement process is transparent and efficient.
What is the General Procurement Agreement?
The GPA is a plurilateral agreement that covers government procurement activities for goods and services. It was introduced in 1981, and it has been revised several times since then. Currently, 48 countries and territories are parties to the agreement, representing a total market worth of over $1.7 trillion.
The GPA`s primary objective is to ensure fair and open competition in government procurement activities. It aims to do this by requiring parties to the agreement to provide equal treatment to domestic and foreign suppliers in government procurement activities. The GPA also requires parties to provide timely, transparent, and effective procedures for resolving disputes related to government procurement.
What does the General Procurement Agreement cover?
The GPA covers government procurement activities for goods and services purchased by central government entities. However, it does not cover procurement activities by sub-national entities such as state or local governments. The agreement also excludes procurement activities for certain sectors such as defense and security.
The GPA covers a wide range of goods and services, including construction services, consulting services, transport services, and telecommunications equipment. It also includes provisions related to intellectual property rights, environmental standards, and labor laws.
How does the General Procurement Agreement work?
The GPA works by establishing a set of rules and regulations that all parties must follow in government procurement activities. These rules and regulations ensure that all suppliers, whether domestic or foreign, have an equal opportunity to participate in government procurement activities.
Under the GPA, parties must publish notices of their procurement activities in a timely and transparent manner. This allows all potential suppliers to see the procurement opportunities available and to participate in the procurement process. Parties must also provide suppliers with equal treatment during the procurement process, including access to information, evaluation criteria, and the ability to submit bids.
If a supplier believes that a party has violated the GPA`s provisions, they can file a complaint with the WTO`s dispute settlement system. The dispute settlement system provides a means to resolve disputes related to government procurement activities in a timely and effective manner.
What are the benefits of the General Procurement Agreement?
The GPA provides several benefits for both suppliers and parties to the agreement. For suppliers, the GPA opens up new markets by providing access to government procurement opportunities in other countries. This can help suppliers to increase their sales and expand their business.
For parties to the agreement, the GPA promotes transparency and efficiency in government procurement activities. This ensures that government procurement activities are conducted in a fair and open manner, which can help to prevent corruption and increase public trust in government.
The World Trade Organization`s General Procurement Agreement is an essential agreement in international trade. It promotes fair and open competition in government procurement activities, which benefits both suppliers and parties to the agreement. By establishing a set of rules and regulations that ensure all suppliers have an equal opportunity to participate in government procurement activities, the GPA promotes transparency and efficiency in government procurement.