The adoption of the revised Agreement marks the end of a long negotiation that started in 1997 to improve the text of the Agreement, to set the basis for expanded coverage, to further eliminate discriminatory measures and to provide for more transparency.
WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his statement to the formal meeting of the parties to the Agreement, said that the Government Procurement Agreement “is the world’s principal tool for facilitating trade in relation to government procurement markets. It is a paradigm example of a trade-opening instrument that also recognizes the need for governance mechanisms built around the fundamental WTO principles of non-discrimination, transparency and procedural fairness. It is, in my view, destined to play an important role in promoting good procurement practices around the world.”
The Chair of the Committee, Nicholas Niggli, of Switzerland, said that “by concluding the renegotiation, and now by adopting the rectified results, parties have struck a powerful blow for open markets, good governance and the efficient and effective management of public resources. The usefulness of this in the context of the lingering economic and fiscal crisis cannot be overstated.”The Agreement is a plurilateral treaty that commits members to certain core disciplines regarding transparency, competition and good governance in one of the most important and growing areas of the economic activity of any country. It covers the procurement of goods, services and capital infrastructure by public authorities.