More than 60 government officials from 34 WTO members and observers deepened their knowledge of the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) 2012 at a workshop held virtually from 17 April to 12 May.
Participants discussed improving the transparency and efficiency of government procurement procedures and the advantage of creating open and competitive government procurement markets, among other topics.
The participants in the 2023 Advanced Global Workshop on the GPA 2012 comprised government officials with experience in trade and government procurement policy matters from 34 economies across the world.
Opening the workshop on 17 April, WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González highlighted the importance of government procurement for economic growth and sustainable development and its role in “building infrastructure and delivering essential public services for the benefit of citizens”.
She noted that the GPA 2012 can be seen as a “gold standard” that serves as a template for many government procurement provisions in regional and bilateral free trade agreements around the world. DDG González also noted the importance of the Agreement for “promoting the conservation of natural resources and the protection of the environment”.
Participants delved into the implementation of the GPA 2012, the benefits and potential challenges for other WTO members of acceding to the Agreement, the work of the GPA Committee and the benefits of observership to the Committee. The parties to the Agreement and observers to the Committee can be found here.
The workshop also covered sustainable procurement, the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in government procurement markets, e-procurement, emergency procurement and the role of government procurement in helping to achieve good public health outcomes.
Two interactive breakout sessions were organised to facilitate participants’ understanding of the GPA 2012 and its market access dimension. As part of the workshop, an online panel discussion was held on the role the GPA 2012 can play in preventing corrupt practices in government procurement. The recording of the session can be found here.
The workshop benefited from the expertise of numerous policy experts from national authorities, international organisations and academia as well as the WTO Secretariat.