The World Trade Organization established on 1st January 1995 is a legal and institutional foundation of the multilateral trade system. It is the forum in which trade relations among the countries evolve through collective debate and negotiation. GATT was replaced by World Trade Organization (WTO) and was set up by the Uruguay Round. The essential functions of WTO are;
- Administering WTO trade agreements
- Forum for trade negotiations
- Handling trade disputes
- Monitoring national trade policies
- Technical assistance and training for developing countries
- Cooperation with other international organizations
WTO is located at Geneva, Switzerland and has 144 member countries. Present Director General is Mike Moore. Its budget equals 143 million Swiss Francs for 2002 with individual contributions calculated on the basis of shares in the total trade conducted by member countries.