Technical cooperation activities

Under the declaration adopted by ministers in Doha in 2001, the WTO Secretariat undertakes an annual programme of technical cooperation activities to assist developing and least-developed countries in participating effectively in the WTO's work on government procurement.


The technical cooperation programme aims to promote awareness of the role and significance of government-procurement-related policies at the domestic and international levels. It seeks to enhance participants' awareness of WTO activities and key concepts, principles and practices in this area, to exchange information and to share experiences on the implications of different bilateral, regional and multilateral disciplines.

The activities mainly include:

  • national seminars on government procurement
  • regional government procurement workshops
  • workshops and symposia on the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) in Geneva
  • government procurement components in broader WTO technical cooperation activities, including the WTO's advanced trade policy courses and regional trade policy courses.

To facilitate and extend participation, the WTO Secretariat is also working on the development of an e-training course on government procurement, which will soon be available as part of the WTO ECampus courses.
The technical cooperation activities typically include modules on:

  • the economic and social significance of government procurement
  • developments in the region in which the workshop is being conducted
  • the basic architecture of the GPA
  • the definition and scope of government procurement and related coverage issues
  • procedural aspects of procurement and their relation to transparency, competition and non-discrimination
  • developing country issues, including the role of special and differential treatment
  • compliance issues, including both domestic review procedures and the application of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding in relation to the GPA.

In addition, the activities may also include a module dealing with the detection and prevention of collusive tendering, which reflects the importance of measures to prevent bid rigging and other anti-competitive practices as an adjunct to a liberalized government procurement regime.

All WTO Secretariat technical cooperation activities on government procurement follow an interactive format, emphasizing small group practical exercises in addition to question and answer sessions and traditional lectures. The practical exercises permit participants to reflect on national objectives in this area in addition to deepening their understanding of relevant WTO activities and instruments.

The activities sometimes also involve significant cooperation with other international organizations, regional bodies, expert bodies from WTO members and academic institutions. Such organizations include the World Bank, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the national governments of WTO members and observer countries in the relevant regions.

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How to request a national seminar 

Within the WTO Secretariat, technical cooperation is coordinated by the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC), based on the technical assistance and training plans. To request a national seminar on government procurement, the government of the member should submit an online request to the ITTC and consult with the GPA team of the Secretariat on arrangements. More information is available on the webpage of ITTC.

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Technical cooperation events 

The tables listed below provide an overview of the WTO Secretariat's main technical cooperation events on government procurement since the adoption of the Doha Development Agenda in 2001.