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WTO GPA members approve UK participation terms post Brexit

Dec '18
WTO GPA members approve UK participation terms post Brexit
At a recent meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Committee on Government Procurement, parties to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) approved in principle the United Kingdom’s market access offer to take part in the GPA following its departure from the European Union (EU). Australia also announced ratification of its GPA accession is under way.

The United Kingdom’s final market access offer is intended to replicate its current GPA schedule of commitments as an EU member.

All parties re-emphasized their clear desire for the UK to continue participating in the Agreement in a seamless manner post-Brexit, according to a WTO press release.

The GPA is a WTO plurilateral agreement covering 47 governments that have opened procurement activities worth an estimated $ 1.7 trillion annually to international competition. This includes government purchases of goods, services and construction services.

The agreement aims to ensure open, fair and transparent conditions of competition in parties' government procurement markets, based on principles of reciprocity and to the extent agreed by members.

Under the draft EU withdrawal agreement negotiated separately between the EU and the United Kingdom and currently subject to internal approval procedures in those jurisdictions, the latter would remain bound by international treaties signed by the EU, including the GPA, until the end of the transition period foreseen in the agreement.

In the meeting of the committee, the EU and the United Kingdom confirmed their joint position that the UK would join the GPA at the end of the transition period and would be treated as an EU member state until then.

The next regular meeting of the GPA Committee is scheduled for the end of February 2019. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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