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Taiwan WTO GPA opens up unprecedented opportunities for US biz

Jul '09
Taiwan officially joined the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), marking a significant milestone in its participation in the global trading system and opening up unprecedented government contracting opportunities for U.S. agencies and companies. As the newest signatory to the GPA, Taiwan joins the United States and other GPA trading partners in setting open, transparent, and non-discriminatory rules in the multi-trillion dollar public procurement markets.

As a GPA signatory, Taiwan is committed to opening its government procurement opportunities above a certain monetary threshold to international bidding by all GPA members. Similarly, Taiwan's products, services and suppliers will be eligible to bid for procurement contracts offered by other GPA members. Most importantly, the United States will waive eligible products, services and suppliers from Taiwan from all discriminatory purchasing measures, including the Buy American requirements under the Trade Agreements Act of 1979. The waiver also applies to government contracts under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed earlier this year.

Taiwan's accession to the GPA reaffirms its commitment to open markets and cooperation with its trading partners. This marks an important step in building an even closer U.S.-Taiwan partnership, and especially will facilitate new opportunities that help Taiwan and U.S. companies work their way out of the economic recession. Furthermore, Taiwan's dynamic innovations and leading-edge products, services and technologies in the ICT, semiconductor, medical devices, precision machinery, auto parts, functional textiles, green construction, solar photovoltaic, flat panel display and light-emitting diode (LED) sectors will not only offer U.S. agencies excellent opportunities to enhance quality of purchasing but also give U.S. companies a boost to their competitiveness when bidding for federal and state government contracts.

Taiwan, ranked first in the world for R&D capacity in 2008 by the Economist Intelligence Unit, has long been one of the top suppliers of various high tech products for U.S. and global industries, accounting for about three-quarters of global PC production, half of the world's flat panel displays, a quarter of the world's semiconductors and about a fifth of the world's mobile phones.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office

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