Australian businesses can now compete for government contracts in more markets around the world under a new international agreement.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says Australia has been accepted to join the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) following three years of negotiations.
“GPA parties unanimously agreed to Australia’s final offer to accede to the agreement, which will give Australian businesses the opportunity to secure government contracts in markets worth an estimated $1.7 trillion,” Mr Birmingham said.
This means Australian, goods, services and construction suppliers will now have access to 47 government procurement markets around the world.
It includes lucrative contracts in the European Union, Canada, European Free Trade Association states, Ukraine, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.
Under the new agreement Australian businesses can expect to get opportunities to bid for government procurement contracts in a variety of industries offered by the governments of GPA members. This includes healthcare, pharmaceuticals, construction and financial services.
“This creates significant opportunities for our high value, highly skilled services industries to secure more contracts that support more Australian jobs,” Mr Birmingham said.
Australia will also gain access to the government procurement markets of future GPA members, including China and Russia who are currently seeking to join the GPA.
“Australia’s world-class government procurement system already aligns with GPA principles of value for money, non-discrimination, transparency and competition,” Mr Birmingham added.
The new agreement must be reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties before it comes in to force.