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World Trade Organisation

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global organisation in charge of enforcing international trade rules. The WTO agreements are at its heart which has been negotiated and signed by the majority of the world's trading nations and ratified by their legislatures.

The goal is to help manufacturers of goods and services and exporters and importers run their businesses more efficiently.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been named Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the first African official & women to hold the position.

The Structure Of The WTO

Highest Level Ministerial Conference: The WTO's apex body, the Ministerial Conference, meets every two years. It brings the members of the WTO together.

Second Level General Council: The World Trade Organization's General Council is the organization's highest decision-making body, meeting in Geneva on a regular basis to carry out the WTO's functions.

Third-Level Councils For Trade: The Council of Trade is in charge of the GATT, which governs international trade in goods.

Fourth Level Subsidiary Bodies: Subsidiary bodies deal with specific issues such as agriculture, subsidies, and market access under the various councils.

What are the Functions of WTO?

Managing the trade agreements of the World Trade Organization; providing a venue for trade negotiations; and resolving trade disputes

  • To monitor National trade policies.

  • Technical assistance and training for developing countries

  • Cooperation with other international organisations

What are the benefits of The World Trade Organisation?

  • It contributes to the promotion of peace and prosperity on a global scale.

  • Conflicts are amicably resolved. Rules instil greater discipline in trade negotiations, reducing inequalities significantly.

  • The cost of living is reduced and household income is increased as a result of trade liberalisation.

  • Businesses now have more market access, and consumers now have a larger product selection to choose from.

Features Of WTO Agreements

The rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) (the Agreements) are the result of member negotiations.

The current set of rules was developed between 1986 and 1994.

Uruguay Round

The Uruguay Round negotiations resulted in major revisions to the original General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

The GATT is now the WTO's primary goods trade rule book.

The Uruguay Round also established new rules for dealing with services trade, relevant intellectual property issues, dispute resolution, and trade policy reviews.

The entire set is approximately 30000 pages long and contains approximately 30 agreements and individual commitments (dubbed Schedules) made by individual members in specific areas such as reduced customs duties and market openings for services.

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) operate a non-discriminatory trading system based on these agreements, which spell out their rights and responsibilities.

Each country can be confident that its exports will be treated fairly and consistently in other countries' markets.

In the case of imports into their own market, each agrees to reciprocate. Furthermore, the system gives developing countries some leeway in carrying out their commitments.

WTO Agreements

  • Agreements on Goods

  • Agreements of services

  • Intellectual Property Back To Top Agreements

  • Trade-Related Aspect Of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

  • Agreements on Agriculture And Its Implications

General Agreement On Trade In-Service (GATS)

GATS was one of three agreements signed in 1995, along with AOA and TRIPS. It included regulations on international trade in services for the first time, which were not included in the GATT.

Negotiations for the GATS are conducted bilaterally between countries based on requests and offers.

The GATS Agreement governs four different types of service delivery.

Mode 1: (Cross-border Supply) Services delivered within a member's territory from the territory of another member (supplier not present in the member).

Mode 2: (Consumption Abroad) Service rendered to a member's consumer outside the member's territory, in the territory of another member (supplier not present in the member).

Mode 3: (Commercial Presence) Service provided by a supplier with a commercial presence in another member within the member's territory.

Mode 4: (Presence of Natural Person) The supplier's physical presence as a natural person is used to deliver service within the member's territory.


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