The 19 members of the GPA committee met on Tuesday (27 November) at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, endorsing the terms of the UK’s offer. The next formal step is expected when they meet again December.
The UK is currently a member of the GPA through the European Union and our continued participation would mean that British businesses would be able to continue to bid for overseas public sector contracts worth £1.3 trillion each year.
It also means that overseas firms can bid for some UK public sector contracts, which delivers better value for UK taxpayers. Our proposed terms do not open up contracts for health services and other vital services, which will continue to be protected.
The Department for International Trade will continue to work with GPA members so that our membership can be finalised shortly.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said:
We are pleased that our proposal to join the Government Procurement Agreement as an independent member has been supported today and look forward to finalising our independent membership shortly.
This was an important step as continued participation would give UK businesses certainty they need to continue accessing overseas procurement markets worth £1.3 trillion after we leave the European Union.
We look forward to taking our independent seat on the GPA after we leave the European Union and will play an active role in ensuring the agreement continues to provide fair and open competition for the benefit of all members involved.
The WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) is a plurilateral agreement within the WTO system consisting of 19 parties. It mutually opens government procurement markets between these parties
Following support from all parties for the UK’s market access offer, the GPA committee will meet again in the coming weeks to take the next formal step in the process