The Seychelles is set to join the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).
The country, which became a WTO member in April, said that it would now start negotiations to accede to the agreement, which allows members to open their government procurement markets to each other.
The total market is currently estimated to be worth around US$ 1.7 trillion (£1.1trn). According to the WTO annual report 2015, China submitted a fifth revised GPA accession offer setting out multiple improvements to its proposed market access commitments under the GPA.
The WTO estimates that China could add up to US$ 289 billion (£189bn) annually to the value of the market access commitments under the GPA.
The report also said that substantial progress had been made on the GPA accessions of Moldova and Ukraine, and it is hoped that these would be completed this year. Tajikistan applied for accession to the GPA in February.
Montenegro and New Zealand joined the GPA last October. The GPA ensures that signatories do not discriminate against the products, services or suppliers of other parties to the GPA with respect to the government procurement opportunities that are opened to foreign competition.
The plurilateral agreement requires transparent and competitive purchasing practices in the markets covered.