The WTO is a negotiating forum where member governments unite and discuss the trade problems they face with each other. The work of this institution comes from the 1986-1994 negotiations in the Uruguay round and earlier negotiations under the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade, that is also called GATT. It is also a set of rules. The WTO agreements set the standars that must be met by all goods and service producers, importers and exporters to manage their business. This system helps to make trade as free as possible; it also ensured that everyone knows the rules of trade. This organization also helps to resolve disputes, and relationship between merchants who always have different interests.

  • What is the main objective of the World Trade Organisation?
The main objective of the WTO is to help producers of goods and services, exporters and importers conduct their business, while negotiating the reduction or elimination of obstacles to trade (import tariffs, other barriers to trade) and agreeing on rules governing the conduct of international trade (e.g. antidumping, subsidies, product standards, etc.). Also It is administering and monitoring the application of the WTO's agreed rules for trade in goods, trade in services, and trade-related intellectual property rights.

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  • What body was the predecessor to the World Trade Organisation?

The predecessor to WTO was the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
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  • What year was it established?

The WTO was established on 1 January 1995

  • How many members make up the organisation?

The organisation makes up for 150 members.(76 members at its foundation and a further 74 members joined over the following years).
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  • Where is the Secretariat located?
WTO Secretariat located in Geneva
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  • What are the official languages of the World Trade Organisation?
They are English, French and Spanish

  • How are decisions reached in the organisation?
The general rule is that the WTO seeks consensus, but if consunses can't be reached, the matter at issue will be decided y voting, with a one country one vote rule.
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  • What are the main activities carried out by the organisation?
- The WTO facilitates the implementation, administration and operation, and furthers the objectives, of this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements, and also provide framework for the implementation, administration and operation of the Plurilateral Trade Agreements.
- The WTO provides the forum for negotiations among its members concerning their multilateral trade relations in matters dealt with under the agreements and a framework for the implementation of the results of such negotiations, as may be decided by the Ministerial Conference.
- The WTO administers the Understandings on Rules and Procedures governing the Settlement of Disputes.

  • What are the ultimate goals and objectives of the organisation?
The ultimate goal must be to keep a system where the same rules apply for all.


  • Delegates from 56 countries meet in Havana, Cuba, to start negotiating the charter of a proposed International Trade Organisation (1946)
  • The US Congress rejects the Charter of the International Trade Organization (1948)
  • Gatt agreement comes into force. (1948)
  • The seventh round, is launched in Tokyo, Japan (1973-79)
  • Gatt trade ministers launch the Uruguay Round in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, embarking on the most ambitious and far-reaching trade round so far (1986-93)
  • Trade ministers meet for the final time under GATT auspices at Marrakesh, Morocco (1994)
  • The World Trade Organization is created in Geneva (1995)
  • Doha Development Agenda is created (2001)
  • First time a person from a developing country is appointed head of the WTO (2002)
  • WTO rules that duties imposed by the US on imported steel are illegal (2003)
  • Geneva talks achieve framework agreement on opening up global trade (2004)
  • The WTO announces the economic world crisis will be harder on developed nations (2009)

Structure of the World Trade Organisation :
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World Trade Organisation (WTO) Glossary:

  • General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade: A United Nations international trade organisation.
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  • Antidumping laws: Laws that are enacted to prevent dumping - offering prices in the overseas market that is lower than that at which a product is sold in its home domestic market.

  • Economic Integration: The integration of commercial and financial activities among countries through the abolishment of economic discrimination.

  • Tariffs: Taxes on imported goods and services, levied by governments to raise revenues and create barriers to trade.
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  • Trade Barrier: a governmental policy, action, or practice that intentionally interrupts the free flow of goods or services between countries.
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  • Agreement: meeting of minds between two or more legally competent parties,about their relative duties and rights regardingcurrent or future performance.

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