Essay on Achievements of World Trade Organization !
Member-countries of the WTO have sought to fulfil the objectives reflected in the preamble of the WTO agreement of conducting the trade relations with a view to raising standards of living worldwide. The rise in global trade facilitated by trade liberalisation within the rule-based system has created more and better-paid jobs in many countries.
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Forty eight least developed countries, with 12 per cent of the world population had only 0.4 per cent of global trade. It is therefore called for better access to them increased technology transfer, aid and debt relief, protection from negative consequences of the agreements and greater transparency in the WTO.
It is the rapid growth of trade in the past half century that has been responsible for the global rise in incomes in the Post-World War II era and that the GATT/WTO has played a crucial role in this expansion of trade. Globalisation too is in part attributed to WTO which with its promotion of more open trade has made it easier for firms to produce and trade across borders.
The achievements of the WTO during its first two years bear witness to our desire to work together to make the most of the possibilities that the multilateral system provides to promote sustainable growth and development while contributing to a more stable and secure climate in international relations.
The bare statistics speak of a successful GATT/WTO. The membership of the Geneva-based organisation has increased from less than two dozen in 1948 to 135 to date and many more nations have applied and waiting for membership. As a result of negotiations since 1948, the average import tariff in the world has come down from 40 per cent to just 6 percent. The annual value of global trade in both goods and services is now more than 15 times what it was in 1948. World trade was equivalent to just eight percent of the gross domestic product in 1950, in 1999 the figure was 27 percent. World exports have grown consistently faster than world GDP, while trade grew by six percent every year between 1948 and 1999, the annual growth of GDP has been just 3.8 percent.
The developing countries feel more comfortable with the dispute settlement process of the WTO. While a total of 315 trade disputes were brought to the old GATT between 1948 and 1994, as many as 120 have gone before the WTO in just a little over three years.
The WTO has to achieve consensus regarding both trade and non-trade agreements tabled before it by bringing both the developed and developing countries close to achieve the objectives of the establishment of WTO.