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public procurement

Government procurement refers to purchases of goods or services, including consultancies and professional services, construction, maintenance and material supply contracts, facilities contracts, capital equipment and property and leasing arrangements, undertaken by governments for their own consumption.

Government procurement accounts for a significant part of the economy of many countries. Although a government procurement agreement did not form part of the core WTO agreement, a number of WTO member governments signed a plurilateral agreement on government procurement. However, this was optional and did not go far enough for private sector and governments vying for new opportunities for profit and control through the liberalization of this important area. Government procurement provisions in free trade agreements stipulate that governments (national and sub-national) must treat overseas tenders no less favourably than local ones. Many bilateral agreements include provisions which already commit governments to open up this lucrative market to transnational corporations. This issue has been a contentious sticking point for Malaysia in its negotiations with Washington on an FTA and India in its negotiations with the EU. Malaysia’s procurement policy has kept foreign companies from bidding for state contracts, which US negotiators object to.


Gvt procurement: FTA provides lucrative contracts for Australian businesses
Australian businesses are preparing for an assault on the $200 billion US Government procurement market when the US-Australia FTA takes effect in just over a fortnight.
EU, Mercosur fail to reach agreement
Talks between the European Union and the four-nation South American Mercosur trade bloc, aimed at building the world’s largest free-trade area, will be extended into 2005
Kuwait, Singapore agree FTA to include 4 main areas
Kuwait and Singapore have agreed that the free trade agreement between them will include four main areas of trade in goods, trade in services, investment and government procurement.
EU-Mercosur: EU presents completed offer to Mercosur
In the on-going negotiations for an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, the EU has today sent Mercosur a completed offer.
’Singapore issues’ part of EU’s trade agenda: Lamy
Investment, competition policies, and transparency in government procurement emerged during a recent meeting between trade ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union aimed at seeking ways to boost trade and economic cooperation between the two regions.