Achieving “value for money” is a priority for most procurement systems. But how? Open, transparent and non-discriminatory purchases are generally seen as the best way to achieve this goal, as they optimize competition between suppliers. At the same time, there are competing policy objectives: many governments also use public procurement to achieve other domestic policy objectives, such as promoting certain local industrial sectors or social groups. The GPA contains a number of provisions to ensure that tendering procedures for public procurement are transparent, effective and fair in the signatory countries. The signatories agreed on this point: the fundamental objective of the GPA is to open mutual public procurement between its parties. Following several rounds of negotiations, the GPA parties have opened purchase activities valued at an estimated $1.7 trillion per year for international competition (i.e., suppliers of construction products, services or services). (a) Authorized products from WTO GPA countries and countries trading in FREI products are entitled to non-discriminatory treatment in point 25.402(a) (1). The GPA and WTO free trade agreements define attribution procedures for fairness (see 25.408). The current signatories to this agreement (april 2014) are: Canada, Chinese Taipei, the European Union – whose member states are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands (including Aruba), Poland, Portugal, Slovakia , Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom – Hong Kong, Iceland, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Any other WTO member government may accede to this agreement on terms agreed by that government and the current signatories. Foreign government procurement is worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year and offers significant potential opportunities for Canadian exporters. Public procurement obligations in international trade agreements help ensure that Canadian suppliers of goods and services are treated in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory manner when selling to governments outside Canada.
In addition to suppliers, open public procurement benefits governments and taxpayers by increasing competition, expanding the choice of available goods and services and, importantly, reducing costs. The following WTO members are parties to the 1994 agreement: Public procurement accounts for an average of 10-15% of an economy`s GDP. It is an important market and an important aspect of international trade. The WTO`s work in the area of public procurement aims to promote transparency, integrity and competition in this market. The signatories of the GPA agreed that companies from other signatory countries will not be treated less favourably in terms of public procurement than domestic firms, in accordance with the principles of national treatment and non-discrimination.