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What is the origin and function of World Trade Organisation ?

Thank you for posing your question to Allexperts and selecting me to answer.

You have asked an important question, because the people living in different parts of the world do not know about World Trade Organisation or WTO. This is playing a major role in International trade and international Economic development.

To know about WTO, one should know about GATT or General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

After the World War II (1939 to 1945), there was a prolonged protection for import / Export by the industrial countries in Europe. This resulted in economic recession in the Western countries (USA, Canada etc..). This led to a discussion in 1947 by 23 countries. This negotiation resulted in the formation of  General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). They were  informal agreements. The objectives of GATT was to
a) Raise the standard of living
b) Full employment and steadily growing income.
c) Full use of World resources.
d) Expand protection and international trade.

Several rounds of negotiations were held by GATT from 1947.  The Uruguay (In the South Eastern part of South America) round started in September 1986 and ended on 15th September 1993.  Mr.Arthur Dunkel, the Director General of GATT submitted a proposal on 20th September 1991 on Trade liberilisation related to  Trade related Investments (TRIMs) and Trade related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and subsidies (concessions) for Textiles, Agriculture and other services.  The final agreement was signed on 15th April 1994, at Murrakesh, Morocco. Based on this, the GATT was renamed and established as World Trade Organisation (WTO) on January 1, 1995.  The objectives of WTO are,
a) Proper administration, operation and implementation of the agreements of GATT.
b) Proper rules for agreements, implementation and settlement of disputes.
c) The negotiating parties were members and the WTO rules and regulations are binding on the members.
d) Objective  - Raise the standard of living, Full employment, Full use of world resources, Expand production, Promote international trade and cooperation.
e) Principles Non discrimination  of member nations, No quantitative restrictions (except agricultural products), Optimum tariffs, least controls and duties, consultations and discusions initial and further adjustments commercial policy promote globalisation.
f) Negotiation process Preferential treatment for emerging economy products, Concessions to regional trade alliances, exceptions for inter national tensions (USA & Cuba), Clearly defined dispute mechanism, Government to Government trade disputes, Enforcement os copy rights and piracy.

GATT : Negotiations were between Contracting parties, Adhoc & provisional agreements, Existing local government controls continue, Less powerful  and agreements were loose and informal, there were disputes between the contracting parties, dispute settlements were slow, contracting governments blocked the ruling and orders of GATT, Tariff / shipping / insurance / telecommunications etc.. were negotiated separately.

WTO : Negotiations are between Member countries, Formal and binding negotiations, The negotiated agreements were Final, permenant and binding agreements, WTO hold the control on agreement controls hold, Agreements are powerful and binding, If any dispute arises re-negotian is initiated, Faster implementation of agreements, Contracting member governments cannot block the rulings of WTO, Agreements on all aspects and open for rounds of negotiations for changes, Strong and binding dispute settlements

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Basically a B.Sc (Physics) from the University of Madras, India. Started the career in production engineering under German and Italian experts. MBA in Management from IIM, Ahmedabad (India). Ph.D (Management) from the University of Bomaby (the first ever awarded in this subject). Headed the computer centres of Multi nationals; "Data Processing expert" of the Commonwealth, London (To implement World Bank and UNDP Computer softwares); "Consultant Adviser" to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Barbados. Associated with Nobel Laureate in Economic Science-1979, Arthur Lewis (Past President of CDB) & 4 more on his introduction. Visiting professor to many universities. A Trained ISO 9001:2000 Quality Auditor. Over 40 years of combined experience in Accounts, Computer Software, Economics, Engineering, Management, Science, Technology, Research & Development and Qulaity systems. Author of over 60 Application Research papers. Currently a free-lance consultant in ISO Quality Systems, Socio-Economic development acceleration, Innovative software designs. Can answer any question in Theoritical/Applied-economics with an in-depth and innovative dimension. I DO NOT ANSWER : 1. STATISTICAL data & analysis. 2. PRIVATE questions, as they do not appear for PUBLIC view & search 3. Examination & Project report oriented questions. Website


Experience in the area Over 40 years in Industrial, Service and Economic development sectors. Socio-economic development oriented expertise (1982-86). With Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, London as a "Data Processing Expert". With Caribbean Development Bank, Barbados (UNDP,World bank set up) as a "Cnsultant Adviser". See "" and "". National & International awards. R & D Author at and

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