WTO: 2009 NEWS ITEMS

Chinese Taipei commenced negotiations to become a Party to this plurilateral Agreement in March 1995, even before it became a member of the WTO on 1 January 2002. On 9 December 2008, the Committee on Government Procurement adopted a decision inviting Chinese Taipei to accede to the Agreement after the completion of the negotiations.

At a meeting of the Committee on 14-15 July, other Parties warmly welcomed Chinese Taipei's accession and encouraged other WTO Members to join the Agreement. The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Nicholas Niggli (Switzerland), expressed his thanks to the representatives of Chinese Taipei and other Parties “whose efforts made this historic achievement possible”.

The aim of the Agreement is to open up to intenational competition as much of the government procurement of its Parties as possible. It is designed to make laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement that is covered by the Agreement more transparent and to ensure that they do not discriminate against products, services or suppliers from other Parties to the Agreement.

With today's accession, the Agreement now covers forty-one WTO Members, namely: Canada; the European Communities, with its 27 member States; Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Israel; Japan; Korea; Liechtenstein; the Kingdom of the Netherlands with respect to Aruba; Norway; Singapore; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; and the United States.

Other WTO Members that are in the process of negotiating their accession to the Agreement on Government Procurement are Albania, Armenia, China, Georgia, Jordan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Oman and Panama. A further five WTO Members, namely Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia and the Ukraine, have provisions committing them eventually to seek accession to the Agreement in their respective Protocols of Accession to the WTO.

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