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WTO Members Enhance Procurement Pact

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

21 December 2011

Nations party to the WTO's Plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement have concluded talks on enhancements which will increase the Agreement's effectiveness and scope while simplifying the accession process for new signatories.

The Plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement, which currently has 42 participants, aims at enforcing principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination among signatories looking to procure supplies of goods and services for the public sector.

The World Trade Organization said that the revised agreement, reached on December 15, 2011, will “improve the disciplines for this key sector of the economy and expand the market access coverage”. The WTO noted that new transparency provisions will also be effective in tackling corruption.

WTO Director-General, Pascal Lamy added: “This extremely important deal means better disciplines for awarding government contracts. This also means better use of public resources in a moment when, more than ever, the economic crisis calls for fiscal discipline. It will also provide a needed stimulus for the world economy because it would apply to many sectors of it, namely to the suppliers of infrastructure, public transport, hospital equipment and many other government services.”

As well as expanding the agreement's scope, it is thought that the revised agreement will speed up the accession of new members to the pact. China and eight other WTO members are currently negotiating accession to the voluntary Agreement.

TAGS: tax | business | public sector | law | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | China | regulation | trade | services

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