On 18 October 2017, the WTO announced that the WTO Committee on Government Procurement agreed on 18 October to grant observer status to Afghanistan and Brazil. The announcement said:
Members welcomed Afghanistan’s commitment to seek eventual accession to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). Some also expressed hopes that Brazil might, in the future, consider acceding to the Agreement.
The GPA aims to open up, based on principles of reciprocity and to the extent agreed between WTO members, government procurement markets to foreign competition, and make government procurement more transparent. It provides legal guarantees of non-discrimination for the products, services or suppliers of GPA parties in covered procurements. The GPA is a plurilateral agreement — potentially open to all WTO members and binding only the parties to the agreement. Currently, 47 WTO members (including the EU and its 28 member states) are bound by the agreement.