Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb announced today that Australia will launch a bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA).   

Mr Robb said global government procurement markets represented major opportunities for Australian business. 

“The GPA covers the purchase of goods and services by 43 governments worth USD$1.7 trillion. This number will grow with another 10 countries negotiating to join including China with a government procurement market worth $1.5 trillion,” he said.

Australian membership of the GPA will provide Australian businesses with greater certainty and transparency when competing in GPA markets including those in the EU, US, Japan and Korea.

“Membership of the GPA would mean our firms will be able to participate on an equal footing with local competitors in GPA member countries,” Mr Robb said. 

This announcement underscores the Government’s commitment to opening new legally guaranteed export market access opportunities for Australian business. 

The decision to join the GPA is supported by Australian business and all State and Territory governments.

“The Government will work closely with business and State and Territory governments during the negotiations to ensure the final outcome is the best possible for Australia,” Mr Robb said.

Mr Robb said Australia’s world-class government procurement system was based on the principles of value for money, non-discrimination and was open to competition from foreign suppliers.

Membership of the GPA means our businesses would enjoy similar treatment when they want to sell goods and services in these markets.

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