World Trade Organisation (WTO) is a permanent international organisation dealing with global rules of trade between nations. It came into existence in 1995. It is the successor of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established aftermath of Second World War. The last round 1986-94 Uruguay round led to creation of WTO. At the heart of WTO is multilateral trading system. It consists of WTO agreements negotiated and signed by majority world’s trading nations and their parliaments. One of important functions of WTO is smooth trade flow between nations.
The objective of WTO is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and smoothly as possible. Some of the other objectives of WTO are:
WTO has about 160 members which accounts for 95% of world trade. There are 25 other negotiating memberships.
The secretariat of WTO is based in Geneva, Switzerland headed by Director General. The present Director General of WTO is Roberto Azevêdo.
The decisions at WTO are made by entire membership with consensus. These decisions are ratified in member nation parliaments as well. GATT is principal rule book of WTO for trade in goods.
Trade without discrimination:
If a member country of WTO grants special favour in trade to some favoured country, then all other WTO countries will be given the same favour. Thus all countries become the most favoured nation in all other countries, thereby making every country equal.
It means treating foreign goods and services at par with local equally by all members of WTO
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