Vietnam has become the 26th observer of the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), one of the most important documents of the World Trade Organisation, which is the first step towards official membership in the 42-party agreement.

The approval for the country’s observer status was made by the WTO’s Committee on Government Procurement, at its meeting on December 5 in Geneva , Switzerland.

As a non-biding agreement for WTO member economies, GPA opens up a series of opportunities to get access to the government procurement markets of 42 GPA parties, especially in infrastructure, transportation.

The GPA was negotiated in parallel with the Uruguay Round in 1994 and put into force in 1996. The multilateral agreement reinforces rules guaranteeing fair and non-discriminatory conditions, ensuring openness and transparency in tendering procedures, special treatment and differences for developing countries in practices of government purchase.

Vietnam has always pursued an open and transparent trade mechanism in compliance with WTO’s regulations since it became a WTO membership in 2007, Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh, Head of the Vietnamese diplomatic mission at the United Nations, WTO and other international organisations in Geneva, said on the occasion.-VNA