Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Liechtenstein First to Ratify New WTO Procurement Agreement

WTOOn May 2, Liechtenstein became the first World Trade Organization (WTO) member to ratify the amended version of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) that was adopted on 30 March 2012. The Protocol of  Amendment will come into effect upon its acceptance by two thirds of the 42 Member States party to the GPA.  The Chairman  of the Committee on Government Procurement, Mr. Bruce Christie  of Canada, has urged the Parties to ratify the new agreement in time to be celebrated at the WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali, in  December of 2013.

The GPA is a  plurilateral agreement within the WTO system which provides a framework for the  progressive liberalization of markets for the procurement of goods, services  and construction services by governments.  Like the other WTO agreements, it is based on principles of non-discrimination, transparency and procedural fairness, and embodies a set of best practices in public  procurement based on the experience of the participating governments.  The existing version of the Agreement was  developed as part of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations.  The revised text of the Agreement and  expansion of related market access commitments attached to the Protocol were  negotiated by the Parties over a period of more than ten years, which was concluded in March 2012.



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