Regional Trade Agreements & Procurement Rules: Facilitators or Hindrances?
32 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 2015
This Working Paper considers the significance of government procurement chapters in regional trade agreements (RTAs), both in their own right and vis-à-vis the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). The paper finds, inter alia, that: (i) a strong complementarity exists between government procurement trade commitments and general goods and services trade commitments, making integration of procurement commitments in a more general system such as the WTO Agreements desirable; (ii) government procurement chapters in RTAs, where they exist in detailed form, are modelled substantially or entirely on the WTO GPA -- a fact which can facilitate eventual accession to the GPA by participating WTO Members; and (iii) the market access opportunities created by government procurement chapters in RTAs generally are less extensive than those available under the revised GPA -- a factor helping to maintain incentives for eventual GPA accession by relevant WTO Members. The recent successful renegotiation of the GPA has set the stage for a broadening of its membership, over time, ensuring that the Agreement's future remains strong.
Keywords: WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA); Regional trade agreements; Market access; Good governance
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