GPA SYMPOSIUM

Revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA): an emerging pillar of 21st century trade and development

Geneva, WTO Headquarters

After more than a decade of renegotiation, the revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) entered into force in April 2014. To mark(1) this event and as part of the 20th anniversary activities of the WTO, the WTO Secretariat is organising at the WTO's headquarters a symposium on the GPA. The symposium will also act as a technical cooperation event on government procurement.

DG Azevêdo urges WTO members to deepen discussions to advance negotiating work DG Azevêdo urges WTO members to deepen discussions to advance negotiating work
Revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA): an emerging pillar of 21st century trade and development
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Programme

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This symposium aims to raise awareness of the significance of the GPA in todays international economy. It will address policy-related issues on government procurement, both generally and as they relate to trade, governance and development. Its purpose is to inform participants of WTO activities in this area as well as to provide a forum for both trade and procurement experts to exchange information on trade-related activities and initiatives. Particular attention will be given to the revised GPA.

Participants will consider the multiple dimensions of government procurement policy in a modern economy, and the issues and challenges associated with effective policy coordination in this area at the international level. Attention will be given to the interaction between key areas of policy including value for money, trade, governance and development. The tensions and complementarities arising from these and other dimensions of government procurement policy, such as social and environmental concerns, will also be addressed. The symposium will further reflect upon issues, challenges, and flexibilities pertaining to the participation of developing countries in trade agreements with a government procurement dimension.

Consideration will be given to the potential role that the GPA can play as a unified international legal framework that facilitates the achievement of balanced and optimal outcomes with respect to trade, governance, value for money and development. The synergies and complementarities between the work of the WTO and other international organisations will further be explored in this respect. Relevant activities, initiatives and developments, including infrastructure provision, sustainable procurement, and the participation of small and medium sized enterprises in public procurement markets, will also be addressed.

Programme

Day 1 Thursday, 17 September 2015

08.30 - Registration and security procedures


09.30 - Official Opening of the Symposium

SESSION 1

The revised GPA: significance for development and global trade in the 21st century

9.10-10.45

Chair: Mr John Newham, Chairman, WTO Committee on Government Procurement

09.10

Chairman's introductory remarks

09.20

Good governance and economic development: the GPA as an enabling instrument

Mr Nicholas Niggli

Head of the Economic, Finance, Science and Innovation Section of the Swiss Embassy, UK

Presentation
09.40

Buttressing the case for international public procurement: the role of data-driven policy making

Mr Lucian Cernat

Chief Economist, DG Trade European Commission

Presentation
10.00

The GPA and Africa: possibilities and opportunities ahead

10.20 10.30

General discussion

10.30 10.45

Break

SESSION 2

Policy coherence in the area of government procurement: the revised GPA and other international instruments and initiatives

11.20-13.15

Chair: Mr Robert Anderson, WTO Secretariat

11.20

Chairman's introductory remarks

11.30

A new Procurement Framework: complementarities and synergies with the GPA, pushing the boundaries of WB procurement

Mr Diomedes Berroa

Lead Procurement Specialist, World Bank

Presentation
11.50

Legal transition and good governance in the public procurement sector: relevance of the GPA to EBRD's work

Mr Jan Jackholt

Director of Procurement EBRD

Presentation
12.10

The upcoming policy of the African Development Bank: measures for development of local industry and relevance of good governance and GPA principles

Ms Valrie Robert

Principal Procurement Specialist, African Development Bank

Presentation
12.30

The revised UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement: synergies and complementarities with the revised GPA

Ms Caroline Nicholas

Senior Legal Officer UNCITRAL

Presentation
12.50

General discussion

Lunch Break

SESSION 3

Ensuring the continuing relevance of the GPA: the New Work Programmes of the GPA Committee and related policy considerations

14.30-16.30

Chair: Mr Antony Taubman, Director, Intellectual Property Division, WTO Secretariat

14.30

Chairman's introductory remarks

14.40

Future relevance and evolution of the GPA in light of global trends and developments

Professor Sue Arrowsmith

Achilles Professor of Public Procurement Law and Policy, The University of Nottingham

Presentation
15.10

Sustainability in government procurement: possible approaches

Judge Marc Steiner

Swiss Federal Administrative Court

Presentation
15.30

The OECD Recommendation on Public Procurement: complementarities and synergies with GPA participation

Mr Jnos Bertok

Head of Division, Public Sector Integrity, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, OECD Secretariat

Presentation
15.50

Encouraging the participation of SMEs in the government procurement sector: insights from international experience

Professor Daniel Gordon

Senior Advisor, Government Procurement Law Program, George Washington University

Presentation
16.10

General discussion

Break

SESSION 4

Broadening the reach of GPA principles: regional developments and perspectives

16.50-18.30

Chair: Ms Jean Heilman Grier, Djaghe LLC

16.50

Chairman's introductory remarks

17.00

Latin America and the GPA: why the hesitation?

Mr Ronald Saborio Soto

Consultant and Former Ambassador, Costa Rica

17.20

China's accession to the GPA: benefits for China and the global economy

Dr Ping Wang

The University Nottingham

Presentation
17.40

Expanding international procurement markets via the GPA renegotiation and regional trade agreements: realising the synergies between the GPA and RTAs

Dr Kamala Dawar

Sussex University

Presentation
18.00

General discussion

SESSION 5

Concluding session

18.15

Chair: Mr Robert Anderson, WTO Secretariat

18.15

Rapporteur's reflections

Professor Daniel Gordon

George Washington University

18.30

Closing remarks

Mr Antony Taubman

Director, Intellectual Property Division, WTO Secretariat

Day 2 Friday, 18 September 2015

08.30 - Registration and security procedures


09.00

Welcoming remarks: Mr Robert Anderson, WTO Secretariat

SESSION 6

Significance of government procurement for trade, development and economic performance and relevance of the GPA

09.10-10.10

Chair: Mr Robert Anderson, WTO Secretariat

09.10

Developmental and trade significance of government procurement: competition, governance, value for money and the international dimension

Professor Daniel Gordon

George Washington University

Presentation
09.30

The GPA in a changing global context: core disciplines, entry into force of the revised Agreement and policy considerations for developing countries

Mr Robert Anderson

WTO Secretariat

09.50

General discussion

SESSION 7A

The GPA as an instrument of governance: transparency, procedural rules and institutional provisions

10.10-11.05
10.10

The revised GPA: potential market access benefits for acceding members

10.30

GPA institutional provisions: domestic review procedures and WTO dispute settlement

Professor Daniel Gordon

George Washington University

Presentation
10.50

General discussion

SESSION 7B

The GPA as a market access instrument: potential market access benefits, scope and coverage and new online market access information resource tool

11.20-12.15
11.20

The revised GPA: potential market access benefits for acceding members

Ms Jean Heilman Grier

Principal Trade Consultant, Djaghe LLC

Presentation
11.40

The e-GPA online market access information resource tool: a practical demonstration

12.00

General discussion

SESSION 7C

Accession to the GPA: procedures and modalities, and benefits and challenges, including transitional measures for developing countries

12.15-13.15
12.15

Accession to the GPA: current state of play, process and procedures, and benefits and challenges including transitional measures for developing countries

12.35

Accession to the GPA: the case of Armenia

Mr Karen Brutyan

EBRD GPA TC Facility

Presentation
13.00

General discussion

Lunch Break

SESSION 8

Government procurement in a post-2015 sustainable development era: policy and strategic considerations for developing and transition economies

14.30-16.45

8A) Regional colloquia and mini-workshops (4 separate regional groups)

  • Africa, Arab and Middle East Region
  • Asia-Pacific Region
  • Central & Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus (CEECAC) Region
  • Latin America and the Caribbean Region
14.30

Africa, Arab and Middle East Region

Infrastructure and public services provision as a key requirement for trade and development: importance of sound procurement policy and related international disciplines breakout session

Speaker: Participants

General discussion

Asia-Pacific Region

Expanding trade in government procurement markets: developments on regional trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region and insights and possible lessons from the GPA model breakout session

Speaker: Participants

General discussion

CEECAC Region

Accession to the GPA: potential market access benefits, and relevance and significance for good governance and economic reforms for transition economies breakout session

Speaker: Participants

General discussion

Latin America and the Caribbean Region

Regional integration and domestic reforms: activities and initiatives from the region, and potential role and relevance of international disciplines breakout session

Speaker: Participants

General discussion

16.00-16.15

Coffee Break

16.15-16.45

8B) Report from mini-workshop sessions

  • Africa, Arab and Middle East Region
  • Asia-Pacific Region
  • Central & Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus (CEECAC) Region
  • Latin America and the Caribbean Region

General discussion

SESSION 9

Government procurement disciplines in a post-2015 sustainable development era: policy messages and role and relevance of the GPA

Chair: Mr Robert Anderson, WTO Secretariat

16.45-18.15
16.45

The GPA as an emerging pillar of 21st century trade and development: policy messages and considerations for transition and developing economies Roundtable discussion

17.45

General discussion

SESSION 10

Concluding session

18.00-18.15
18.00

Rapporteur's reflections

Professor Daniel Gordon

George Washington University

Presentation

Closing remarks

Mr Robert Anderson

WTO Secretariat

Attendance

The Symposium is being organised for the benefit of participants from GPA observers, GPA parties, WTO members and observers, and for other policymakers and analysts with an interest in government procurement in general and the Agreement more specifically. More on the GPA

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Footnotes

  1. This symposium has been organised by the WTO Secretariat for the benefit of WTO members and observers, and is for educational and capacity building purposes only. All views expressed are the personal responsibility of the speakers, and are strictly without prejudice to the views, interests or positions of WTO members and observers. Back to text