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Objectives and Functions of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

World Trade Organization (WTO), international organization established to supervise and liberalize world trade. The WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was created in 1947 in the expectation that it would soon be replaced by a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) to be called the International Trade Organization (ITO).

Although the ITO never materialized, the GATT proved remarkably successful in liberalizing world trade over the next five decades. By the late 1980s there were calls for a stronger multilateral organization to monitor trade and resolve trade disputes. Following the completion of the Uruguay Round (1986–94) of multilateral trade negotiations, the WTO began operations on January 1, 1995.

The WTO has six key objectives:
(1) to set and enforce rules for international trade,
(2) to provide a forum for negotiating and monitoring further trade liberalization,
(3) to resolve trade disputes,
(4) to increase the transparency of decision-making processes,
(5) to cooperate with other major international economic institutions involved in global economic management, and
(6) to help developing countries benefit fully from the global trading system.

The main functions of WTO are discussed below:
1. To implement rules and provisions related to trade policy review mechanism.
2. To provide a platform to member countries to decide future strategies related to trade and tariff.
3. To provide facilities for implementation, administration and operation of multilateral and bilateral agreements of the world trade.
4. To administer the rules and processes related to dispute settlement.
5. To ensure the optimum use of world resources.
6. To assist international organizations such as, IMF and IBRD for establishing coherence in Universal Economic Policy determination.

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