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Members Members, dually represented by the EU Observers Non-members 1 January 1995 Formation Centre William Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland

Headquarters 159 member states[1] Membership Official languages English, French, Spanish[2] Director-General Pascal Lamy 196 million Swiss francs (approx. 209 million US$) in Budget 2011.[3] 640[4] Staff wto.org Website

WTO was established on 1st January 1995. In April 1994, the Final Act was signed at a meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco. The Marrakesh Declaration of 15th April 1994 was formed to strengthen the world economy that would lead to better investment, trade, income growth and employment throughout the world. The WTO is the successor to the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT). India is one of the founder members of WTO. WTO represents the latest attempts to create an organisational focal point for liberal trade management and to consolidate a global organisational structure to govern world affairs. WTO has attempted to create various organisational attentions for regulation of international trade. WTO created a qualitative change in international trade. It is the only international body that deals with the rules of trades between nations. Some of the important functions and objectives of WTO are :-

Functions of WTO
The former GATT was not really an organisation; it was merely a legal arrangement. On the other hand, the WTO is a new international organisation set up as a permanent body. It is designed to play the role of a watchdog in the spheres of trade in goods, trade in services, foreign investment, intellectual property rights, etc. Article III has set out the following five functions of WTO; (i) The WTO shall facilitate the implementation, administration and operation and further the objec-tives of this Agreement and of the Multilateral Trade Agreements, and shall also provide the frame work for the implementation, administration and operation of the plurilateral Trade Agreements. (ii) The WTO shall provide the forum for negotiations among its members concerning their multilateral trade relations in matters dealt with under the Agreement in the Annexes to this Agreement. (iii) The WTO shall administer the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes. (iv) The WTO shall administer Trade Policy Review Mechanism. (v) With a view to achieving greater coherence in global economic policy making, the WTO shall cooperate, as appropriate, with the international Monetary Fund (IMF) and with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and its affiliated agencies.

Objectives of WTO
Important objectives of WTO are mentioned below: (i) to implement the new world trade system as visualised in the Agreement;

(ii) to promote World Trade in a manner that benefits every country; (iii) to ensure that developing countries secure a better balance in the sharing of the advantages resulting from the expansion of international trade corresponding to their developmental needs; (iv) to demolish all hurdles to an open world trading system and usher in international economic renaissance because the world trade is an effective instrument to foster economic growth; (v) to enhance competitiveness among all trading partners so as to benefit consumers and help in global integration; (vi) to increase the level of production and productivity with a view to ensuring level of employment in the world; (vii) to expand and utilize world resources to the best; (viii) to improve the level of living for the global population and speed up economic development of the member nations.

WTO Structur

The Ministerial Conference (MC) is at the top of the structured organization of the WTO. It is the supreme governing body which takes ultimate decisions on all matters. It is constituted by representative (usually, Ministers of Trade) all the member countries. The General Council (GC) is composed of the representatives of all the members. It is the real engine of WTO which acts on behalf of the MC. It also acts as the Dispute Settlement Body as well as the Trade Policy Review Body. There are three councils viz : the Council for Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) operating under the GC. These councils with their subsidiary bodies carry out their specific responsibilities. Further there are three committee, viz, the committee on Balance of Payments Restrictions (CBOPR) and the committee o Budget, Finance and Administration (CFBA) which execute the functions assigned to them by the WTO Agreement and the GC. The Administration of the WTO is conducted by the Secretariat which is headed by the Director General (DG) appointed by the MC for the tenure of four years. He is assisted by the four Deputy Directors from different member countries. The annual budget estimates and financial statement of the WTO are presented by the DG to the CBFA for reivew and recommendations for the final approval by the GC.