GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT

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Brazil's WTO Ambassador, Alexandre Parola, said that GPA accession is a priority for Brazil in view of the opportunity it provides for furthering the country's integration into the world economy. He said that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil was able to circulate a “very ambitious” and “comprehensive” initial market access offer, which could add up to USD 145 billion per year to the procurement market covered by the GPA. As the first country in Latin America to seek accession to the GPA, Brazil was eager to prove that “the benefits of becoming a party to the GPA are accessible to all members of the WTO”.

Brazil's Secretary of Foreign Trade, Lucas Ferraz, said that the country is seeking “a smooth, reciprocal and swift accession” and remains open for discussion with parties “to move forward as quickly as possible”.

The Committee praised Brazil for sending a very encouraging signal during the COVID-19 crisis and for submitting accession documents that constitute “a sound basis” for starting negotiations. Brazil's accession would be a valuable development for the GPA, they said. Brazil submitted its application to join the GPA in May 2020.

In addition to the initial market offer circulated last month, Brazil submitted replies to a checklist of issues regarding its government procurement legislation in October 2020. Brazil will be negotiating its terms of participation with the GPA's 48 WTO members. These terms are set out in each party's schedule (available from the e-GPA portal), which defines its commitments with respect to:

  • the procuring entities whose procurement processes will be open to foreign bidders
  • the goods, services and construction services open to foreign competition
  • the threshold values above which procurement activities will be open to foreign competition and
  • exceptions to the coverage.

Progress was also made at the meeting on the GPA accession of China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, North Macedonia, and Russia. Information on these talks can be found here. The Committee also considered matters related to the implementation of the Agreement and the Committee's agreed Work Programmes.

The Agreement's parties and observers can be found here.

The GPA is a plurilateral WTO Agreement, meaning that not all WTO members are parties to it. While it is open to all WTO members, the GPA is binding only for those members that have joined it.

The Agreement aims to open up government procurement markets to foreign competition in a reciprocal manner and to the extent agreed between GPA parties. It also aims to make government procurement more transparent and to promote good governance. Reciprocal market opening assists GPA parties in purchasing goods and services that offer the best value for their money. The Agreement provides legal guarantees of non-discrimination for the goods, services and suppliers of GPA parties in covered procurement activities, which are worth an estimated USD 1.7 trillion annually. Government procurement typically accounts for about 15 per cent of developed and developing countries' GDP. 

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee on Government Procurement is scheduled to take place on 2 June.

 

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