NZ opens up to overseas contracts
Published: Aug 16, 2012
New Zealand - New Zealand is joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO)'s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), allowing local businesses to better compete for foreign government contracts.
Under the agreement, member countries are not allowed to discriminate against businesses from other countries in the government procurement processes. As such, rules of fair competition and openness will need to be adhered to.
In a statement, Steven Joyce, economic development minister, said that with the country going on board the GPA, its local businesses will have more opportunities to export its products and services to more destinations.
"Joining up to the GPA will improve access and reduce costs for exporters," he said.
The process for New Zealand to join the GPA is expected to take two years, according to Global Times.
Worldwide procurement under the GPA is valued at an estimated US$1.6 trillion in 2008, making up 2.64% of global gross domestic product.
Tim Groser, trade minister, added that the value will go up as new countries, including China, jump on the bandwagon.
Currently, there are 42 countries in the GPA, including US, Canada, Korea, Japan and 27 European Union countries. The agreement covers the purchase of a wide variety of goods and services that government bodies buy from the private sector.
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