The 2022 China International Public Procurement Forum was held virtually on November 7. Themed on “sharing the future of the public procurement market”, the forum was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Finance and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. Xu Hongcai, Vice Minister of Finance, Wu Qing, Executive Vice Mayor of Shanghai, and Anabel González, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), delivered speeches at the forum.
In his speech, Xu reviewed the development and reform of the Chinese government procurement market in recent years and looked ahead to the shared future of the international public procurement market featuring openness and cooperation. Xu noted that the Chinese government has been making continuous efforts to optimize the business environment of government procurement, increase its transparency, eliminate the stipulations and practices that impede fair competition in the government procurement field, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of suppliers in accordance with the law.
He said that China has been continuously deepening international communication and cooperation in the government procurement field, strengthening the construction of an international cooperation platform, boosting the government procurement system in line with international rules and increasing the participation of Chinese enterprises in the international public procurement market, adding that China expects to build a fair and win-win international public procurement market, so that fruits of win-win cooperation will benefit more countries and people.
Wu introduced Shanghai’s practices in implementing national requirements such as deepening government procurement system reform as well as taking the initiative in benchmarking against such high-standard international rules as the World Bank and the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) to build a market-oriented, internationalized, and law-based business environment. Shanghai has put forward higher standards in the disclosure of government procurement information, sped up the digital transformation of government procurement, taken the lead in implementing the government procurement regulations in line with GPA rules in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, released China’s first local regulation on encouraging foreign investment, the Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on Foreign Investment, to ensure the equal opportunity of foreign-invested enterprises in participating in Shanghai government procurement.
Wu said Shanghai will further deepen reform and make constant efforts to optimize the market environment of government procurement in accordance with the country’s plans and requirements.
González pointed out in her speech that at this critical moment in the development of international trade and the global trade system, the global trade system faces multiple risks, all of which highlight the needs to give a full play to the important role of government procurement. She introduced the importance and current progress of the GPA and the major outcomes of the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in international public procurement in response to COVID-19 and its support for food procurement.
The forum is one of the important side events of the fifth China International Import Expo. More than 300 guests, including senior officials of the UN’s relevant missions in China, multilateral development banks, and foreign governments’ embassies in China, the relevant ministries, relevant heads of provincial-level financial departments, and representatives of centralized procurement agencies, government procurement agencies and outstanding suppliers, attended the forum via video link. They discussed the rules and best practices of government procurement, shared their experience in government procurement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and made joint efforts for building a cooperative government procurement platform.