25 September 2023

Australia buys into global procurement scheme

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The Minister for Trade has welcomed progress in Australia’s bid to join an international agreement on Government procurement that could result in Australian suppliers entering a market worth $2.3 trillion.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steve Ciobo said that after almost three years of negotiations, Australia had received support to join the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA).

“The GPA is a significant international trade agreement that will open the door for Australian businesses to Government procurement markets,” Mr Ciobo said.

“Australian participation in the GPA will guarantee our exporters and service suppliers the right to compete on an equal basis in many large foreign Government procurement markets.”

He said the GPA would unlock new opportunities for Australian businesses to bid for contracts for a wide range of goods and services offered by the Governments of GPA members.

This would include areas of Australia’s top export strengths, such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, construction and financial services.

The Minister said the GPA comprised 47 economies with current members including the European Union’s 28 member States, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Ukraine, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Taiwan.

Mr Ciobo said membership of the GPA was continuing to expand with nine additional parties currently in negotiations to join, including China and Russia.

“GPA members will now commence formal procedures to welcome Australia as a member,” he said.

“Once GPA members formally agree to Australia’s accession, expected by the end of 2018, Australia will begin domestic treaty-making processes to join the GPA,” he said.

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