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WTO members to open markets

By: Kristie Thong, Global
Published: Dec 19, 2011

WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION   PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

Global - Forty-two countries in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have decided to open their public procurement markets to fellow members to help increase global trade.

The trade ministers involved have updated the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), making a significant breakthrough after a decade of negotiations, according to WTO director-general Pascal Lamy.

While the GPA consists of only 42 out of 153 WTO member countries, major economies such as the US, Japan, and the European Union are included.

China's attempt to join the GPA was withheld last Thursday when GPA committee chairman Nicholas Niggli from Switzerland felt the country will require more time to meet its requirements, eTaiwan News reported.

WTO ambassadors however felt China's eventual inclusion in the GPA can help generate an estimated US$80-100 billion in global trade.

The GPA requires all signatories to give national treatment to the goods, services and suppliers of fellow members, while procurement is also expected to be conducted in a fair, transparent and predictable manner.

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