The World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) is a significant international trade agreement that governs the procurement of goods and services by public entities. It aims to eliminate discriminatory practices and promote transparency, fairness, and competition in government procurement markets worldwide.

The GPA was first established in 1981 and has been updated four times since then, most recently in 2014. Currently, 48 member countries, including the US, Canada, and the European Union, are part of the GPA, with more countries in the process of joining.

One of the key benefits of the GPA is that it promotes fair competition among bidders, as it prohibits any preferences to domestic suppliers over foreign ones. This means that all bids must be evaluated on a level playing field, with the best bid being selected regardless of the bidder`s country of origin.

In addition to promoting fairness, the GPA also seeks to bring transparency to government procurement processes. Member countries must publish their procurement laws, regulations, and procedures and notify the WTO of any changes they make. This allows for greater accountability and reduces the risk of corruption.

Moreover, the GPA helps to increase market access for suppliers, both domestic and foreign. By opening up government procurement markets, companies are able to sell their goods and services to a wider range of customers, leading to increased competition and innovation.

While the GPA has many benefits, some critics argue that it benefits developed countries more than developing ones. This is because the rules and procedures associated with the agreement can be complex, making it difficult for smaller businesses to compete with larger, more established firms.

Overall, the WTO Government Procurement Agreement is an important agreement that helps to promote fair competition and transparency in government procurement markets worldwide. By joining the GPA, countries can benefit from increased market access and greater accountability, leading to stronger economies and more prosperous societies.