Australia has been accepted to join the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) overnight, ensuring Australian businesses can compete for government contracts in more markets around the world.
After three years of negotiations, GPA parties unanimously agreed to Australia's final offer to accede to the agreement, which will give Australian businesses the opportunity to secure government contracts in markets worth an estimated $1.7 trillion.
It means Australian, goods, services and construction suppliers will now have access to 47 government procurement markets around the world, including new opportunities in the European Union, Canada, European Free Trade Association states, Ukraine, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.
It's expected the GPA will provide opportunities for Australian businesses to bid for government procurement contracts in a variety of industries offered by the governments of GPA members including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, construction and financial services.
This creates significant opportunities for our high value, highly skilled services industries to secure more contracts that support more Australian jobs.
Australia will also gain access to the government procurement markets of future GPA members, including China and Russia who are currently seeking to join the GPA.
Australia's world-class government procurement system already aligns with GPA principles of value for money, non-discrimination, transparency and competition.
This agreement forms part of the Liberal-National Government's trade agenda to open up new markets for Australian businesses as this further strengthens our economy and helps create more jobs.
We will now commence the domestic treaty-making process, which includes consideration by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, to bring the Agreement in to force.
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