(WTO)The World Trade Organization is an intergovernmental organization that regulates international trade. The World Trade Organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, signed by 123 nations on 15 April 1994, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948. It is the largest international economic organization in the world. The WTO deals with regulation of trade between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments.
The WTO deals with rules of trade between nations at global level. It is an organization for liberalising trade. It is a forum for member countries to negotiate trade agreements. It is a place for them settle disputes. It operates a system of trade rules.
it operates from Geneva,Swizerland presently (2006),it has 150 members.
Objectives of WTO
The objectives and purpose of WTO are spelled out in the preamble to the Marrakesh Agreement (1994). In short,these are:
- To ensure reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade.
- To eliminate discriminatory treatment in international trade relations.
- To facilitate higher standard of living,full employment,growing volume of income and effective demand,and an increase in production and trade in goods and services of member nations.
- To make positive effect,which ensures developing countries,especially the least developed secure a level of share in the growth of international trade that reflects the needs of their economic development.
- To facilitate the optimal use of world’s resources for sustainable development.
- To promote an integrated,more viable and durable trading system incorporating all resolutions of the Uruguay Round’s multilateral trade negotiations.
- Above all,to ensure that linkages in trade,environmental policies with growth and development are taken care of by the member countries.
Functions of WTO
- Administering and implementing multilateral trade agreements which together make up the WTO.
- Acting as a forum for multilateral trade negotiations.
- Seeking to resolve trade disputes
- Reviewing national trade policies
- Co-operating with international institution involved in global economic planning.