Commercial Environment

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INTRODUCTION

     WTO founder members (January 1, 1995)     WTO subsequent members Formation January 1, 1995 Headquarters Centre William Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland Membership 153 member states Official languages English, French, Spanish Director-General Pascal Lamy Budget 189 million Swiss francs (approx. 182 million USD) in 2009. Ever since the WTO came into existence on January 1, 1995 , Indian economy has witnessed a tremendous change. Some people believe that the WTO agreements would affect only those who are in international trade ; those producing and selling domestically will remain unaffected. This is only an illusion. Those in international trade have engaged in other sectors , shocks are soon to follow. In one word, all categories of economic functionaries and all sectors of the economy are going to feel the pinch of the WTO economic regime, in varying from and content ; WTO is as much important to farmers , scientists , singers and writers as to industrialists , traders or sundary service providers. Given WTO’s enormous significance to our economic existence , the Indian Economic Association considered it advisable to institute WTO and the Indian Economy as one of the four themes for the 83rd conference. The present volume is based on 23 papers submitted for the conference under this theme. After seven years of protracted negotiations – called Uruguay Round of Table Negotiations – a new rule – based trading system with a new apex body , the World Trade Organization (WTO) , equipped with the authority of enforcing the commitments , rules and norms of discipline came into existence on January 1 , 1995. This Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations – was unique in several respects. It covered many new areas such as Agriculture , Textiles , Technology , Intellectual Property Rights (IPR’s) , Trade – Related Investment , Services , etc. The new institution – WTO – is equipped with legal authority and provisions for enforcement of the rules and the disciplines of the new trading system. Some of the positive achievements of the Uruguay Round Of Trade Negotiations , that have been incorporated in the final Act and the WTO framework , need to be explicitly recognized. Over the past several years , many countries , which were vocal advocates of free trade and free play of market forces , had been adopting. Before the WTO came , until 1994, international trade in merchandise was guided by the rules and provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

WHAT IS WTO?

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a global organization dealing with rules of trade between nations, who are members of the organization. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows smoothly and freely . Decisions in the WTO are normally taken by consenus among all member countries and they are ratified by members’ parliaments of senates. However in trade off on decisions , gains may be unequal at times.

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