The Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) is a legally binding agreement under the World Trade Organization (WTO) that aims to promote transparency, competition, and efficiency in the public procurement sector. It provides a framework for fair and open competition among suppliers from different countries in bidding for government contracts.
The GPA covers the procurement of goods, services, and construction works by government entities in signatory countries. It applies to central government agencies and other entities as identified by each member country. The agreement also requires member countries to publish their procurement rules and regulations, as well as information on procurement opportunities, in a timely and transparent manner.
The GPA was first established in 1981 and currently has 48 members, including developed and developing countries. The most recent update to the agreement was made in 2014, which expanded the scope of the agreement to include new areas such as procurement in the defense sector.
One of the key benefits of the GPA is that it provides greater access to government procurement markets for businesses from member countries. By ensuring fair and open competition, the agreement promotes a level playing field for suppliers regardless of their nationality. This can help to reduce trade barriers and boost international trade and investment.
In addition to promoting transparency and competition, the GPA also encourages the use of sustainable procurement practices. Member countries are committed to promoting environmental and social considerations in their procurement processes, which can help to support the achievement of broader sustainable development goals.
Overall, the Government Procurement Agreement is an important part of the World Trade Organization`s efforts to promote free and fair trade on a global scale. By providing a framework for transparent and competitive government procurement, it can help to create new opportunities for businesses while promoting sustainable development and good governance.