Australia received support to join the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) overnight, following almost three years of negotiations under a Coalition Government.

The GPA is a significant international trade agreement that will open the door for Australian businesses to government procurement markets estimated to be worth more than US$1.7 trillion.

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. This will make it easier for Australian businesses to sell their products and services to the world.

The GPA will unlock new opportunities for Australian businesses to bid for government procurement contracts for a wide range of goods and services offered by the governments of GPA members. This will include areas of Australia’s top export strengths, such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, construction and financial services.

The GPA comprises 47 economies and current members include the EU’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. Membership of the GPA is 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. 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.

Australia already enjoys a world-class government procurement system that is open, competitive and in line with the principles of the GPA.

The Turnbull Government is pursuing Australia’s most ambitious trade agenda to create new jobs and drive economic growth.

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