Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Trade Minister Tim Groser have welcomed New Zealand’s accession to the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), which came into effect on August 13.
“Kiwi companies now have more opportunities to do business with governments internationally than ever before”, says Joyce in a statement.
“From today they have guaranteed access to bid for approximately US $1.7 trillion in annual overseas government contracts across 43 WTO member countries, including the US, Canada, Japan and 28 countries of the EU.
“This figure is expected to grow significantly as further countries join the GPA over time, creating new opportunities for Kiwi businesses to export more products and services to more destinations.
“Entering the GPA will be a big boost for New Zealand manufacturers and ICT exporters, and will assist with the continuing diversification of the New Zealand economy.”
The GPA covers the purchase of a broad range of goods and services that government agencies buy from the private sector, including construction, and will help achieve the Business Growth Agenda goal of increasing exports to 40% of GDP by 2025, Joyce says.
New Zealand’s accession follows two years of negotiations. Kiwi exporters seeking to access the government procurement markets of the other GPA member countries will now be able to compete on equal terms with their international counterparts, Groser says.
“Trade and Enterprise has already begun supporting Kiwi companies to identify and take advantage of the international trade opportunities they now have.
“Our accession to the WTO GPA, along with our other free trade agreements, is a welcome and significant step in opening up large overseas markets to our Kiwi suppliers.”