On April 18, Ukraine ratified the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). It will become the 46th WTO member subject to the Agreement on May 18 — 30 days after submitting its instrument of accession.
In November 2015, the WTO procurement committee, comprised of representatives of the GPA parties, approved the terms for Ukraine’s accession. Those terms specify the procurement that Ukraine will conduct in accordance with the GPA rules and open to the United States and the other GPA parties. Ukraine’s adoption of a procurement regime that is consistent with the GPA should strengthen its ability to address corruption, which the Economist (Apr. 16, 2016) reports is “still rampant”.
Ukraine’s accession to the GPA fulfills a commitment it made when it became a WTO member in 2008. It began the accession process three years later – in 2011 – with its application for membership.
Ukraine’s entry into the WTO procurement pact follows closely two GPA accessions in 2015: Montenegro became a party in July, and New Zealand followed in August. In addition, Moldova is expected to ratify the Agreement by mid-June, after the Committee approved its accession terms last fall.
Jean Heilman Grier