Define: World Trade Organisation

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Definition: World Trade Organisation


Quick Summary of World Trade Organisation


The World Trade Organisation is an international body that supervises and encourages international trade. The organisation is dedicated to making international trade flow smoothly, predictably and freely.



What is the dictionary definition of World Trade Organisation?

Dictionary Definition


The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is an international trade organisation formed under the General Agreement on Tariffs And Trade (GATT)  as a replacement for GATT intended to implement measures agreed to at the Uruguay Round in 1994.

The World Trade Organisation’s aims are to continue GATT’s work in agreeing upon international trading rules and furthering the liberalisation of international trade.

WTO rules are very important in respect to international trade contracts and the WTO’s jurisdiction also extends into such aspects of trading as intellectual property rights.

The highest authority within the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which is held approximately every 2 years.

The WTO began operating on the 1st January 1995 and as of 2016 had 164 member states.


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Full Definition of World Trade Organisation


An international trade organisation was first proposed following the Bretton Woods conference (1944), but was never set up; the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was started instead.

GATT organised the Uruguay Round trade talks, and concluded activities in 1994 with the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO); the latter being intended to take over the GATT’s functions in encouraging multilateral trade in goods and services.

The WTO is the largest international economic organisation in the world.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international body that seeks to foster free trade and resolve trade issues among member nations. Specifically, the World Trade Organization promotes trade agreements among countries, which provide the rules for the international exchange of goods, services, and intellectual property. WTO members are countries, not companies. The United Kingdom, like many other members, has an ambassador to the WTO as well as a full delegation at WTO headquarters in Geneva. World Trade Organization agreements have detailed conditions for resolving trade conflicts; if governments can’t resolve trade disputes on their own, they are brought to the World Trade Organization for resolution. One weakness of the World Trade Organization, however, is that its decisions are not accompanied by a significant enforcement mechanism. The World Trade Organization was established in 1995 after the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade talks. But the origins of the World Trade Organization extend back much further, to the inauguration of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1948. As of 2004, some 148 countries belonged to the World Trade Organization.


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Synonyms For World Trade Organisation


world trade organization, wto-related, organization, international trade organization, accession


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Definition Sources


Definitions for World Trade Organisation are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 4th February, 2020