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Indian Economy / International Organizations

Functions of World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in the year 1995 after Uruguay round of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). Headquarters of WTO is situated in Geneva. Director General of WTO is the head of the organization but most of the decisions are adopted at the Ministerial Conference. In order to bring coherence in economic policy making at global level, the Ministerial Conference assembles at least once in every two years. Currently, WTO has 164 nations as its members and 25 observer governments. Afghanistan became the latest entry as the 164th member of WTO.

Main Functions of World Trade Organization

  • It facilitates in administering, implementing and operationalizing of the Multilateral Trade Agreements (MTA) and supervises the national trade policies of its member countries.

  • It acts as forum for dialogues among its member nations regarding their multilateral trade relations.

  • It handles the trade disputes and cooperates with IMF and World Bank with an opinion to achieve a greater coherence in global economic policy.

  • If required, it provides training as well as technical assistance to the members of developing nations.

  • Patents - Patents are obtained for a product or process which is novel, non-obvious and has some utility. The patent holder will have the exclusive right to manufacture the product and realize the financial proceeds. If someone or some institution uses the patent, royalty is to be paid to the patent holder.

  • Dumping - When a country exports some goods at a rate which is less than the cost involved in production or less than the domestic price in the other country then it is known as Dumping. To prevent dumping, anti-dumping measures can be initiated.

    These are broadly classified into tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers (like Import bans, Additional trade documents, "Buy national" policy, Product-specific quotas, Imposing quality standards, etc.). Non-tariff barriers are against the interests of developing economies.