The World Trade Organization

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The World Trade Organization Nobody will deny if I say that in our modern world it is very important to control the relationship between different countries. There are different organizations nowadays. They control different aspects of our everyday life. I would like to speak about world trade organization. It deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. First of all I would like to give some facts about the creation and location of WTO. Location: Geneva, Switzerland Established: 1 January 1995 Created by: Uruguay Round negotiations (1986–94) Membership: 134 countries (as of February 1999) Budget: 122 million Swiss francs for 1999 Secretariat staff: 500 Head: Director-general Functions: • Administering WTO trade agreements • Forum for trade negotiations • Handling trade disputes • Monitoring national trade policies • Technical assistance and training for developing countries • Cooperation with other international organizations The World Trade Organization came into being in 1995. One of the youngest of the international organizations, the WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established in the wake of the Second World War. So while the WTO is still young, the multilateral trading system that was originally set up under GATT is already 50 years old. The system celebrated its golden jubilee in Geneva on 19 May 1998, with many heads of state and government leaders attending. The past 50 years have seen an exceptional growth in world trade. Merchandise exports grew on average by 6% annually. Total trade in 1997 was 14-times the level of 1950. GATT and the WTO have helped to create a strong and prosperous trading system contributing to unprecedented growth. The system was developed through a series of trade negotiations, or rounds, held under GATT. The first rounds dealt mainly with tariff reductions but later negotiations included other areas such as anti-dumping and non-tariff measures. The latest round—the 1986-94. Uruguay Round—led to the WTO's creation. The negotiations did not end there. Some continued after the end of the Uruguay Round. In February 1997 agreement was reached on telecommunications services, with 69 governments agreeing to wide-ranging liberalization measures that went beyond those agreed in the Uruguay Round. In the same year 40 governments successfully concluded negotiations for tariff-free trade in information technology products, and 70 members concluded a financial services deal covering more than 95% of trade in banking, insurance, securities and financial information. At the May 1998 ministerial meeting in Geneva, WTO members agreed to study trade issues arising from global electronic commerce.
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