World Trade Organization Aspires to Equitable Global Trading

Posted November 10th, 2011 at 5:25 pm (UTC-5)
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The World Trade Organization was established in Geneva, Switzerland on January 1, 1995, with the goal of helping producers of goods and services, exporters and importers conduct their business.

The WTO's main function is to ensure that global trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible to contribute to economic growth and development. It accomplishes these goals by providing a forum for negotiating agreements aimed at reducing obstacles to international trade by ensuring a level playing field for all. It also provides a legal framework for implementing and monitoring the agreements.

World Trade Organization agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property. The agreements are negotiated and signed by a large majority of the world's trading nations and are ratified by their governments.

Common principles that run through WTO agreements include avoiding discrimination among trading partners, encouraging openness by lowering trade barriers, discouraging unfair practices to make trade more competitive, predictable and transparent, and being sensitive to protecting the environment.

The WTO agreements also allow special provisions for developing countries to give them extra time to implement agreements and increase trading opportunities.