A clear majority of parties signalled their readiness to accept a final GPA market access offer circulated last week by Australia, subject to consultations in capital and/or adjustment of their own schedules of commitments. Hence, the chairman of the committee, John Newham (Ireland), expressed the hope that Australia's accession to the Agreement could be informally agreed during the committee's scheduled meetings in June. Preliminary calculations suggest that the market access offer could add up to US$ 100 billion to the total value of procurement covered by the Agreement.

The Russian Federation presented documentation concerning its accession process, including documents regarding its internal legislation, and affirmed its readiness to engage in negotiations. Parties to the GPA expressed their appreciation for this while also noting that improvements would be needed in Russia's offer and voicing concerns regarding particular issues regarding the geographical coverage of its documentation.

China reported on efforts under way in its capital to increase internal coordination and co-operation to facilitate further progress on the preparation of a revised offer as well as on a recent high-level dialogue with the European Union and GPA-related technical assistance provided by the WTO Secretariat. Parties reiterated the need for a revised offer as a basis for further negotiations and indicated their willingness to work with China. They also expressed the hope that China will accelerate and intensify work on its accession process.

The GPA parties welcomed the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's recently circulated initial offer and confirmed that it is of high quality and commercially meaningful. The delegation of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia undertook to consider all comments and expressed its ambition to accede to the GPA as quickly as possible.

The Kyrgyz Republic indicated that a revised final offer is being discussed among relevant ministries in Bishkek. The committee chairman stated that there are good prospects for prompt conclusion of this accession based on the very significant work that has already been done if the delegation can successfully address a particular outstanding concern regarding a proposed price preference, complete its internal consultations and present its final offer.

Tajikistan updated the committee on its current legislative reform process. While recognizing past progress, GPA parties reiterated the need for a revised offer addressing their few remaining concerns, and requested Tajikistan's relevant legislation to be circulated to the committee as soon as possible after finalization.

Also discussed at the meeting was the committee's agreed new Work Programmes on sustainability in government procurement, access to procurement activities by small and medium-sized enterprises, and the collection and reporting of statistical data.




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