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WTO Agreement on Government Procurement

On 20 May 1997, Hong Kong acceded to the Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization (WTO GPA). Prior to that, Hong Kong had been a signatory to the Agreement on Government Procurement negotiated under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). From 1 July 1997 onwards, Hong Kong has continued to be a party in the name of “Hong Kong, China”. The object of the WTO GPA is to provide for open and fair competition amongst domestic and foreign suppliers and service providers. To this end, WTO GPA prescribes a set of requirements regarding non-discriminatory treatment of goods, services and service suppliers, qualification of suppliers, tender procedures, tender specifications and challenge procedures. The principles underlying the procurement system of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are consistent with the spirit and objectives of the WTO GPA. 

WTO GPA applies to the following procuring entities of Hong Kong, China for contracts meeting the values specified –

  • all government bureaux and departments
    - for contracts of a value of not less than –
    • 130,000 SDR for procurement of goods and specified services *
    • 5,000,000 SDR for construction services; and
  • non-government public bodies including the Housing Authority and Housing Department, the Hospital Authority, the Airport Authority, the MTR Corporation Limited and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation 
    - for contracts of a value of not less than –
    • 400,000 SDR for procurement of goods and specified services *
    • 5,000,000 SDR for construction services
    (Special Drawing Rights (SDR) is an international currency unit set up by the International Monetary Fund. The current US dollar equivalent to 1 SDR is about US$1.57.)

These procuring entities have to ensure that procurements covered by WTO GPA are conducted in accordance with the provisions of WTO GPA. In addition, we are required to provide a mechanism to consider challenges by suppliers against alleged breaches of the WTO GPA by procuring entities in relation to the concerned procurements. Also, we have to prepare an annual statistical report on procurements to the WTO Committee on Government Procurement.

* Specified services mean those services specified in Annex 5 of Appendix I in Hong Kong, China's Offer.