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17 March 2014 | Gurjit Degun
The World Trade Organization’s revised Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) to encourage transparency in public sector procurement will come into force on 6 April.
The GPA updates tender rules and market access commitments and includes a “significant extension of related market access commitments”. It was adopted in 2012 and commits countries to core disciplines over transparency, competition and good governance in procurement.
The threshold of acceptance – the revised protocol had to be accepted by two thirds of the parties to come into force – was met when Israel accepted it on 7 March.
The 10 parties that have, to date, accepted to amend the agreement are: Liechtenstein, Norway, Canada, Taiwan, the United States, Hong Kong, the European Union, Iceland, Singapore and Israel.
Roberto Azevêdo, WTO director general, added: “The fact this has been achieved so quickly shows the importance that the parties attach to the GPA and is further evidence, after the successful Bali package, that the WTO is back in business. The modernised text of the revised GPA and the expanded commitment to market access should prompt other WTO Members to consider the potential advantages of joining.”