Government procurement agreement and provisions: leveling its relevance to Syria
Government procurement (GP) is one of the few subjects that are still not covered in the multilateral negotiations, though it is strongly emphasised in most free trade agreements (FTAs). This policy brief invites developing countries to maintain their GP, considering that it can be an effective developmental tool, and presents some recommendations for Syrian stakeholders in particular.
The paper states that applying Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) or equal provisions would result in:
- achieving more incorporation and integration within international markets
- losing the ability to use preferential advantages granted to national agencies as a local policy tool
- losing financial revenue resulted from government procurement that national agencies run, or saving the losses that the state bears in case the agencies are facing financial deficit
- probable reduction in food security level in case of food products procurement, and slump in industrial security trend in case of industrial crops procurement
The author points that Syrian government intervenes obviously in the field of government procurement. Intervened sectors include wheat, cotton, tobacco and sugar.
- when the negotiations for WTO accession take place, Syria had better to resist joining GPA as long as possible
- if joining GPA is unavoidable, Syria had better to behave like Saudi Arabia and Oman (i.e. accept to be a GPA observer, and a promise to re-evaluate the situation later)
- it is preferable not to object a FTA government procurement provision before examining and evaluating it sufficiently, yet the evaluation should cover both its social and economic impacts
- in case of inevitable GPA accession, it is necessary to ask for technical aids and investment assistance in order to help moving from the domination of governmental agencies to the free markets and open competition