Ukraine is set to become the latest state to join an international agreement designed to open up public procurement markets.
The eastern European country is due to become a member of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) after its accession terms were agreed on 11 November.
Under the WTO’s GPA nations open up as much of government procurement as possible to international trade and competition, while ensuring transparency and committing to good practice.
WTO deputy director general Yi Xiaozhun said the decision would give Ukrainian suppliers access to a global procurement market estimated at $1.7 trillion.
“With accessions to the agreement that are currently being negotiated, and with other accessions that are foreseen over time, the GPA is in the process of becoming a central underpinning of the world economy,” he said.
Maxim Nefyodov, Ukraine’s deputy minister of the economy and trade, said joining the GPA would help the country improve governance in public procurement and fight corruption. Ukraine applied for GPA accession in February 2011, less than three years after joining the WTO.
Currently 45 WTO members are covered by the GPA, including the EU, the US, Hong Kong and Japan. Moldova’s accession terms were approved on 16 September.
Other WTO members who are in the process of joining the GPA include Albania, Australia and China.