The Marrakesh Agreement 2018

The Marrakesh Agreement 2018: A Comprehensive Guide to the Newest Trade Agreement

The Marrakesh Agreement 2018, also known as the Revised Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), is the newest trade agreement signed by 48 countries around the world. The agreement aims to open up government procurement markets to greater competition, reduce corruption, and promote transparency and fairness in government procurement.

What exactly is government procurement?

Government procurement refers to the process of buying goods and services by public entities, such as government agencies, public utilities, and state-owned enterprises. These entities have a huge purchasing power, and their procurement decisions can have significant economic and social impacts on the domestic and international markets.

Why is the Marrakesh Agreement 2018 important?

The Marrakesh Agreement 2018 is a revised version of the GPA, which was first signed in 1979. The new agreement expands the coverage of the GPA to include new sectors, such as information technology services, agricultural and construction services, and environmental services. It also strengthens the enforcement mechanisms and establishes new rules on transparency, non-discrimination, and anti-corruption.

The Marrakesh Agreement 2018 is important for several reasons:

– It promotes fair competition among domestic and foreign suppliers, which can lead to lower prices, better quality, and more innovation in government procurement.

– It provides greater access to government procurement markets for developing countries, which can help them to boost their economic growth and reduce poverty.

– It encourages transparency and accountability in government procurement, which can help to prevent corruption and ensure that public funds are used efficiently and effectively.

How does the Marrakesh Agreement 2018 work?

The Marrakesh Agreement 2018 is a binding international agreement that sets out the rules and procedures for government procurement among its signatories. The agreement requires signatories to:

– Ensure non-discrimination in their procurement policies, which means treating domestic and foreign suppliers equally.

– Establish transparent and objective procurement procedures, which means providing clear and accessible information on procurement opportunities, evaluating bids based on objective criteria, and ensuring that the procurement process is free from bias and corruption.

– Establish effective remedies for suppliers who believe that they have been unfairly treated, which means providing mechanisms for reviewing procurement decisions and challenging them if necessary.

– Monitor and report on their procurement activities, which means regularly publishing information on their procurement practices and outcomes.

Who are the signatories to the Marrakesh Agreement 2018?

The Marrakesh Agreement 2018 was signed by 48 countries, including the European Union and its member states, the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, and New Zealand. These countries represent about 78% of the global trade in government procurement.

What are the implications of the Marrakesh Agreement 2018?

The Marrakesh Agreement 2018 has significant implications for both governments and suppliers. For governments, the agreement requires them to review and possibly revise their procurement policies and procedures to comply with the new rules and obligations. This may require some investment in capacity building and training to ensure that officials understand the new requirements and can implement them effectively.

For suppliers, the Marrakesh Agreement 2018 provides new opportunities to access large and lucrative government procurement markets. However, it also requires them to meet the new standards and requirements, which may involve additional costs and administrative burdens. Suppliers will need to assess their capacity and readiness to compete in foreign markets and consider partnering or subcontracting with local suppliers to increase their chances of success.

In conclusion, the Marrakesh Agreement 2018 is a major milestone in the global efforts to promote fair competition and transparency in government procurement. The new agreement provides a comprehensive framework for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government procurement practices and ensures the integrity of public funds. While it presents some challenges for both governments and suppliers, it also offers many opportunities for growth and development.