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   Saturday, August 24, 2019 

Vote for your Country in the Battle of the Islands! The Importance of WTO

By Amarendra Bhushan

 Article     

The WTO was established in 1995 as a result of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations (1986-1994). It is an international organization that sets global rules of trade between nations. The core of the WTO system, referred to as the multilateral trading system, are the WTO agreements which lay down the legal ground rules for international trade as well as the market-opening commitments taken up by its Members. These agreements are negotiated and signed by all Members of the WTO, and ratified in their parliaments.

The WTO is composed of governments and political entities (such as the EU) and is a member-driven organisation with decisions mainly taken on a consensus basis. Membership implies a balance of rights and obligations. By October 2004, 149 countries had joined the WTO, with around 25 negotiating to sign up. A vast majority of Members are developing countries. The largest and most comprehensive entity is the European Union with its 25 Member States. Indeed, while the Member States co-ordinate their positions in Brussels and Geneva, the European Commission alone speaks for the EU at almost all WTO meetings.

The WTO's top level decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference, which meets at least once every two years. The latest conferences were Seattle (1999), Doha (2001 - which launched the DDA) and Cancun (2003). Below this, the General Council meets several times a year in the Geneva headquarters. Both are composed of representatives of all Member States. At the next level, the Goods Council, Services Council and Intellectual Property Council as well as numerous specialised committees, working groups and working parties deal with the individual agreements and other areas such as the environment, development, membership applications and trade agreements. Finally, the WTO Secretariat located in Geneva supplies technical support for various councils and committees and the ministerial conferences, analyses world trade and explains WTO affairs to the public and media. See more info on the WTO.

Currently, the WTO Members are engaged in a broad round of multilateral trade negotiations, called "the Doha Development Agenda" (DDA). In July 2004, Members agreed on a Framework Agreement that sets a clear agenda for the formulation of a new set of trade rules by the end of the DDA and decided that the next WTO Ministerial will be held in Hong Kong in December 2005.

Members and Observers

Albania 8 September 2000
Angola 23 November 1996
Antigua and Barbuda 1 January 1995
Argentina 1 January 1995
Armenia 5 February 2003
Australia 1 January 1995
Austria 1 January 1995
Bahrain, Kingdom of 1 January 1995
Bangladesh 1 January 1995
Barbados 1 January 1995
Belgium 1 January 1995
Belize 1 January 1995
Benin 22 February 1996
Bolivia 12 September 1995
Botswana 31 May 1995
Brazil 1 January 1995
Brunei Darussalam 1 January 1995
Bulgaria 1 December 1996
Burkina Faso 3 June 1995
Burundi 23 July 1995
Cambodia 13 October 2004
Cameroon 13 December 1995
Canada 1 January 1995
Central African Republic 31 May 1995
Chad 19 October 1996
Chile 1 January 1995
China 11 December 2001
Colombia 30 April 1995
Congo 27 March 1997
Costa Rica 1 January 1995
Côte d'Ivoire 1 January 1995
Croatia 30 November 2000
Cuba 20 April 1995
Cyprus 30 July 1995
Czech Republic 1 January 1995
Democratic Republic of the Congo 1 January 1997
Denmark 1 January 1995
Djibouti 31 May 1995
Dominica 1 January 1995
Dominican Republic 9 March 1995
Ecuador 21 January 1996
Egypt 30 June 1995
El Salvador 7 May 1995
Estonia 13 November 1999
European Communities 1 January 1995
Fiji 14 January 1996
Finland 1 January 1995
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) 4 April 2003
France 1 January 1995
Gabon 1 January 1995
The Gambia 23 October 1996
Georgia 14 June 2000
Germany 1 January 1995
Ghana 1 January 1995
Greece 1 January 1995
Grenada 22 February 1996
Guatemala 21 July 1995
Guinea 25 October 1995
Guinea Bissau 31 May 1995
Guyana 1 January 1995
Haiti 30 January 1996
Honduras 1 January 1995
Hong Kong, China 1 January 1995
Hungary 1 January 1995
Iceland 1 January 1995
India 1 January 1995
Indonesia 1 January 1995
Ireland 1 January 1995
Israel 21 April 1995
Italy 1 January 1995
Jamaica 9 March 1995
Japan 1 January 1995
Jordan 11 April 2000
Kenya 1 January 1995
Korea, Republic of 1 January 1995
Kuwait 1 January 1995
Kyrgyz Republic 20 December 1998
Latvia 10 February 1999
Lesotho 31 May 1995
Liechtenstein 1 September 1995
Lithuania 31 May 2001
Luxembourg 1 January 1995
Macao, China 1 January 1995
Madagascar 17 November 1995
Malawi 31 May 1995
Malaysia 1 January 1995
Maldives 31 May 1995
Mali 31 May 1995
Malta 1 January 1995
Mauritania 31 May 1995
Mauritius 1 January 1995
Mexico 1 January 1995
Moldova 26 July 2001
Mongolia 29 January 1997
Morocco 1 January 1995
Mozambique 26 August 1995
Myanmar 1 January 1995
Namibia 1 January 1995
Nepal 23 April 2004
Netherlands -- For the Kingdom in Europe and for the Netherlands Antilles 1 January 1995
New Zealand 1 January 1995
Nicaragua 3 September 1995
Niger 13 December 1996
Nigeria 1 January 1995
Norway 1 January 1995
Oman 9 November 2000
Pakistan 1 January 1995
Panama 6 September 1997
Papua New Guinea 9 June 1996
Paraguay 1 January 1995
Peru 1 January 1995
Philippines 1 January 1995
Poland 1 July 1995
Portugal 1 January 1995
Qatar 13 January 1996
Romania 1 January 1995
Rwanda 22 May 1996
Saint Kitts and Nevis 21 February 1996
Saint Lucia 1 January 1995
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines 1 January 1995
Senegal 1 January 1995
Sierra Leone 23 July 1995
Singapore 1 January 1995
Slovak Republic 1 January 1995
Slovenia 30 July 1995
Solomon Islands 26 July 1996
South Africa 1 January 1995
Spain 1 January 1995
Sri Lanka 1 January 1995
Suriname 1 January 1995
Swaziland 1 January 1995
Sweden 1 January 1995
Switzerland 1 July 1995
Chinese Taipei 1 January 2002
Tanzania 1 January 1995
Thailand 1 January 1995
Togo 31 May 1995
Trinidad and Tobago 1 March 1995
Tunisia 29 March 1995
Turkey 26 March 1995
Uganda 1 January 1995
United Arab Emirates 10 April 1996
United Kingdom 1 January 1995
United States of America 1 January 1995
Uruguay 1 January 1995
Venezuela 1 January 1995
Zambia 1 January 1995
Zimbabwe 5 March 1995

Observer Governments

Afghanistan
Algeria
Andorra
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Belarus
Bhutan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cape Verde
Equatorial Guinea
Ethiopia
Holy See (Vatican)
Iraq
Kazakhstan
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Lebanese Republic
Libya
Montenegro
Russian Federation
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Seychelles
Sudan
Tajikistan
Tonga
Ukraine
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Viet Nam
Yemen

 About the Author     

Meet Amarendra Bhushan, as one of the leading article writer, and corporate hotel professional. Advisor to various organizations and great sports fan. He is an elected member of South Indian Hotel and Restaurant Federation. Now staying at city of Athens Greece. Amarendra bhushan Dhiraj Athens, Greece PH-0030-6947667507

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