The GPA is a multi-lateral agreement within the WTO framework, which means that not all WTO members are parties to the agreement. Currently, the agreement consists of 20 parties, with 48 WTO members. Thirty-six WTO members/observers participate in the GPA committee as observers. Of these, 12 members are in the process of joining the agreement. The text of the agreement establishes rules that require open, fair and transparent conditions of competition for public procurement. However, these rules do not automatically apply to all purchasing activities of each party. On the contrary, hedging schedules play a key role in determining whether or not a buying activity is covered by the agreement. Only purchase activities carried out by listed companies that purchase goods, services or listed works above the specified thresholds are covered by the agreement. These calendars are open to the public. The following WTO members are parties to the 1994 agreement: The main objective of the GPA is to open up public procurement between its parties.
Following several rounds of negotiations, the GPA parties have opened purchase activities valued at an estimated $1.7 trillion per year for international competition (i.e., suppliers of construction products, services or services). The revised GPA, which came into force on 6 April 2014, is attracting increasing attention around the world, but the liberalisation of public procurement is not a completely new idea. Within the OECD, efforts have been made at an early stage to ensure that public procurement is subject to internationally accepted trade rules. The case was then included in the Tokyo trade negotiations under the GATT in 1976. The GPA contains a number of provisions to ensure that tendering procedures for public procurement are transparent, effective and fair in the signatory countries. The signatories agreed that, in order to ensure open, fair and transparent conditions of competition in public procurement, a number of WTO members negotiated the Public Procurement Agreement (GPA). The accession process begins with the submission of an application for membership and has two main aspects: negotiations between the member member and the parties to the GPA on the offer of coverage of the GPA and the verification of the compliance of the member`s contracting rules with the requirements of the GPA, for example in terms of transparency, procedural fairness for suppliers and national control. Any company in a signatory country wishing to sell GPA goods or services to a purchasing entity in another signatory country, which is listed in Schedule I of the GPA, may benefit from this agreement.