Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
members are parties to the Agreement on Government Procurement _ Canada, the European
Communities and 15 member states, Israel, Japan, Rep of Korea, Aruba (part of the Kingdom
of the Netherlands), Norway, Switzerland and the United States. In addition to Hong Kong,
accession negotiations with Liechtenstein and Singapore have been completed.
The decision on the
accession of Hong Kong demonstrates increasing interest in the Agreement among WTO members
in East Asia where Japan and Rep of Korea are already parties, and Hong Kong and Singapore
have now completed accession negotiations, and Chinese Taipei is in the process of
negotiating its accession.
Chairman, Mr Harald Ernst (Switzerland), welcomed the decision on Hong Kong's accession to
the plurilateral agreement. He said it would send a positive signal to the Singapore
Ministerial Conference of the importance of the further opening of government procurement
markets to the multilateral trading system. It also demonstrated the importance that the
Agreement's members attach to expanding membership, he said.
on Government Procurement is one of the four WTO plurilateral agreements (i.e. not signed
by the WTO's entire membership). It aims to open up government purchases, estimated at
several hundreds of billions of dollars annually, to international competition. The
Agreement entered into force on 1 January 1996.
requires non-discriminatory practices and open procedures in government procurement
amongst member states, not only in respect of central government procurement of goods (as
under the earlier, Tokyo Round Agreement on Government Procurement), but also in respect
of procurement of services, including public works, and procurement at the sub-central
levels of government (such as states in a federal system) and by public utilities. The
exact coverage is determined by national schedules of commitments of purchasing entities
and of services attached to the Agreement. Compared to the earlier Tokyo Round Agreement,
coverage has been increased by about ten-fold.
has agreed to undertake an early review of the Agreement, starting in 1997. One of the
objectives of the review will be to seek the expansion of membership by making the
Agreement more accessible to countries that have not signed.