World Trade Organization is an organization to negotiate trade agreements and settle trade disputes in accordance with relevant rules. The official working languages of the WTO Secretariat are English, French and Spanish and its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland. As of 2020, Secretary General and about 600 staff members are employed. The Secretariat receives fund and contributions from its Members to support its activities. The WTO’s budget for 2020 is CHF 197,203,900. Korea’s annual contribution to the WTO is roughly 197 million Swiss francs, accounting for 2.90% of the total.
Members- Afghanistan became 164th WTO member on 29 July 2016. The total number of member countries is 164 as of today.
Decision making- The WTO is operated by governments around the world. The topmost decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference and major decisions are made by ambassadors or delegation from member countries.
Korea & WTO- The Republic of Korea has been a member of GATT since April 1967 and a WTO member since 1 January 1995. Currently, 4 staff members from the Republic of Korea are working at the WTO.
GATT & WTO
The GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) held eight rounds in total after the Second World War and the last one was Uruguay Round. WTO officially commenced on 1 January 1995,replacing GATT, and establishes strong and prosperous multilateral tra
Clearance procedures and simplification and harmonization of international trade procedures
At the ninth WTO Ministerial Conference held in December 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, WTO Members concluded negotiation on TFA, which entered into force on 22 February 2017 following its ratification by two-thirds of the WTO membership.
TFA has its preamble and three sections
Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
Legal validity of agreement, Principles to support LDCs
Expediting the movement, release and clearance goods, including goods in transit Clarification of the relevant articles(V,VIII and X) of the GATT 1994.
Special and differential treatment for LDCs
Establichment of a permanent committee on trade facilitaion at the WTO