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World Trade Organization (WTO)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international and intergovernmental organization which provides a forum to negotiate agreements aimed at reducing obstacles to international trade and contributing to global economic growth and development. The WTO provides a legal and institutional framework for the implementation and monitoring of the agreements, including 16 multilateral agreements and two plurilateral agreements. It currently has 164 members with activities supported by the WTO Secretariat of some 700 staff, led by the Director-General.


The WTO was formally established in 1995 and replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which was signed in 1947. Whereas the GATT mainly dealt with trade in goods, the WTO additionally covers trade in services and intellectual property. Moreover, the WTO has new procedures for the settlement of disputes with independent judges. Other key functions of the WTO include monitoring and reviewing trade policies of members, building capacities of developing countries, conducting economic research, and education of the public about the WTO.


Taiwan acceded to the WTO in January 2002 and has eliminated trade barriers while strengthening trade and economic relations with other WTO Members. By actively participating in WTO’s meetings and negotiations, Taiwan expresses its support and engagement for the multilateral trading system. Taiwan will continue to participate in WTO discussions in order to contribute to the formulation of new international trade rules, eventually creating greater and more tangible opportunities for international trade.


World Trade Organization (WTO): 

World Trade Organization