Features of the WTO (World Trade Organisation):
1. It governs trade in goods, services and intellectual property rights among the member countries.
2. It is a body created by an international treaty with the approval of the governments and legislatures of the member states.
3. The decisions of the WTO are made by the governments of the member nations on the basis of consensus.
Structure of the WTO
On January 1, 1995, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was transformed into the WTO to facilitate international trade among the member countries. The WTO was made much more powerful than GATT, by removing tariff and non-tariff barriers between the member nations. It is a permanent body created by an international treaty and represents the implementation of the original proposal of the ITO.
Objectives of the WTO
1. Reducing tariff and other non-trade barriers imposed by different nations;
2. Ensuring sustainable development by optimally using the world resources;
3. Developing a more integrated, feasible and stable trading system.
Functions of the WTO
1. Providing an environment to the member countries such that they can put forward their grievances before the WTO without any hesitation;
2. Resolving trade disputes among member nations;
3. Eliminating discriminations in trade relations by laying down a commonly accepted code of conduct;
4. Creating better understanding between member countries by consulting with the IMF, the World Bank and other affiliates.