Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the Government is committed to securing for Australian exporters guaranteed access to global government procurement markets, including those of the European Union.

Continuing the Government’s aggressive trade agenda, Mr Robb announced today that the Government would work towards joining the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). Membership of the GPA would secure for local exporters access to the multi-million dollar government procurement markets of 45 economies.

“The GPA is a significant international trade agreement,” Mr Robb said.  “It covers a government procurement market estimated to be worth over US$1.7 trillion.  Australian membership of the GPA will help guarantee our suppliers are on an equal footing with their international competitors when it comes to competing in these markets.”

Current members of the GPA include the EU’s 28 Member States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Liechtenstein & Taiwan.

“GPA coverage is expected to expand significantly in the future with a number of countries currently in negotiations to join – including China – whose total government procurement market is estimated to be worth $1.5 trillion.”

New Zealand and Montenegro recently concluded GPA membership negotiations, while talks are ongoing with Albania, Georgia, Jordan, Oman, Ukraine, Oman, Moldova and Kyrgyz Republic.

Mr Robb said this agreement builds on the Government’s strong track record of creating and expanding markets for Australian goods and services.

“This year alone we’ve secured landmark trade deals with Japan and South Korea.  An agreement with China is finally within reach, but the job is far from over and I’ll continue to pursue a global strategy of economic engagement in order to secure more jobs, economic growth and greater prosperity for all Australians.”

Mr Robb encouraged stakeholders and interested parties to have their say on the Government’s GPA negotiations by lodging a submission at WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA).

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