Government Procurement Agreement: How Israel`s Accession Benefits the Global Marketplace
The Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) is a plurilateral international agreement established under the World Trade Organization (WTO) that promotes free and fair competition in public procurement. It requires its signatories to provide equal opportunities and non-discriminatory treatment to foreign suppliers in government procurement while ensuring transparency and accountability.
As of April 2021, the GPA has 20 parties, including the European Union, Japan, the United States, and Canada, among others. One recent accession to the agreement is Israel, which became the latest member on May 6, 2021.
Israel`s accession to the GPA is a significant development for the global marketplace, particularly for companies in the government procurement sector. Here are some of the benefits of Israel`s membership to the GPA:
1. Access to New Markets
As a new member of the GPA, Israel`s government procurement market is now accessible to other participating countries. This means that foreign companies now have equal opportunities to compete with domestic suppliers in Israeli government procurement tenders. Likewise, Israeli firms can now bid on procurement contracts in other GPA parties such as the EU and the US.
2. Non-Discriminatory Treatment
The GPA`s fundamental principle is non-discrimination, which means that all foreign suppliers, including Israeli firms, are treated equally with domestic companies. This provision protects companies from discriminatory practices such as arbitrary technical standards or qualification requirements that may impede foreign competition.
3. Transparent Procurement Procedures
The GPA requires its signatories to conduct procurement procedures in an open and transparent manner. It mandates the use of electronic platforms and online records to ensure that procurement processes are accessible to all interested parties. This provision allows companies to monitor procurement activities and report any irregularities or discriminatory practices.
4. Strengthened Rule of Law
The GPA`s rules and regulations promote the rule of law in government procurement. It requires participating countries to have a transparent and accountable legal framework and an effective system to review procurement-related complaints. This provision ensures that procuring entities follow ethical and legal standards in conducting procurement activities.
5. Improved Standards and Best Practices
Israel`s accession to the GPA also means that the country has agreed to adopt international procurement standards and best practices. This commitment ensures that Israeli procurement procedures align with international norms and standards, making it easier for foreign companies to do business with Israeli entities.
In conclusion, Israel`s accession to the GPA is a positive development for the global marketplace. It provides foreign companies with equal opportunities in Israeli government procurement tenders, while Israeli firms now have access to other GPA parties` procurement markets. Additionally, the GPA`s non-discriminatory treatment, transparent procurement procedures, strengthened rule of law, and adoption of international standards is beneficial to all parties involved. As a result, the global marketplace is more open, transparent, and competitive, benefiting both businesses and consumers alike.