Sun, Mar 30, 2014 - Page 3 News List

WTO-affiliated agency benefits local businesses

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s entry to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) in 2009 has been beneficial to the country, as it has allowed local enterprises to explore more business opportunities overseas, the Public Construction Commission said.

Last year, Taiwan provided 2,502 government procurement opportunities, worth NT$298.3 billion (US$9.84 billion), for bidding.

Among them, foreign companies won bids in 247 cases worth NT$76.9 billion, or 26.78 percent of the total value, the commission reported.

The percentage represented no major difference from the 29.68 percent recorded during the 2006 to 2008 period before the nation’s participation in the agreement affiliated to the WTO, the commission said.

On the other hand, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, local companies were able to gain business worth more than US$2 billion in foreign government procurement projects in 2009, and the figure has been increasing every year.

Meanwhile, a revised version of the GPA will take effect on April 6, first for 10 signatories — Taiwan, Canada, the US, the EU, Singapore, Norway, Iceland, Israel, Hong Kong and Liechtenstein — allowing these countries to further open up the government procurement market to each other.

The ministry estimated that the change will help expand the market scale, which currently stands at about US$1.6 trillion a year, by between US$80 billion and US$100 billion, providing more opportunities for local businesses.

Taiwan is strong in international government procurement bids for electronics goods and components, as well as in green and security monitoring products, while foreign companies are competitive in acquiring the government’s contracts to provide machine equipment and accessories.

The GPA, which was signed in 1994, currently has 15 parties, mainly major industrialized economies.

The purpose of the agreement is to seek to provide equal and fair treatment to foreign companies in the bidding for government procurement contracts and not to discriminate against foreign goods, services and suppliers of the signatories.

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