Via China Daily

China has submitted the seventh bidding list for accession to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) of the World Trade Organization, adding the military department to the list for the first time, per a statement the Ministry of Finance released on its website on Monday.

“This bid is a significant measure to speed up the negotiation process of China’s accession to GPA,” the statement read. It also indicates China’s expansion of opening-up, shows the sincerity of China’s accession to GPA and the determination to maintain the multilateral trading system.

The new bid, which was submitted to the WTO on Sunday with the approval of the State Council, also included seven more provinces than the sixth bid, which so far covers all 26 provinces and municipalities in China except autonomous regions, the Ministry of Finance said.

In the meantime, it added 16 state-owned enterprises and 36 local colleges and universities. Some service items have been added, and it adjusted some exceptions, the statement said.

China started to join the GPA negotiation in 2007 and submitted its first bid then. GPA is a plurilateral agreement of WTO whose goal is to promote participants to open government procurement markets and expand international trade.

The main content of GPA negotiations is the range of opened government procurement and the adjustment of relevant domestic laws.

The fundamental aim of the GPA is to mutually open government procurement markets among parties. At present, the agreement has 20 parties comprising 48 WTO members. Another 34 WTO members or observers participate in the GPA committee as observers. Of these, nine members are in the process of acceding to the agreement, according to the WTO.

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As a result of several rounds of negotiations, GPA parties have opened procurement activities worth an estimated $1.7 trillion annually to international competition, the WTO said.