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Trade Effects of Rules on Procurement for Commonwealth ACP Members

image of Trade Effects of Rules on Procurement for Commonwealth ACP Members

This Economic Paper assesses the potential trade effects of rules on procurement policies in Commonwealth ACP countries. It provides a practical guide for policymakers and negotiators to determine the impact of government procurement rules and policies taken at the national level or negotiated in trade agreements.

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Introduction

One of the challenges facing those who are negotiating trade agreements affecting government procurement is the confusion which exists concerning terminology and the scope of the issues being negotiated. As a result, the first task of this report is to provide a clear and concise explanation of some of the issues and terms used in the context of public procurement regulation. This is not a purely academic exercise; it is also important because the primary task of the report is to assist the negotiating parties. They need to understand fully the benefits and costs of a transparent procurement system and, separately, the effect of trade agreements containing procurement rules on their economies. It should be emphasised at the outset that when we talk of a procurement ‘system’, we are referring to whatever laws, regulations, decisions, procedures and practices are in place in any given country to regulate public procurement. The precise legal and regulatory framework will differ from country to country so that the term ‘system’ will be used as shorthand to cover all eventualities.

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