Business Guide to the World Trading System

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As world trade becomes more and more global, the rules of the world trading system are being continuously refined. For a better participation in the world trading system, it has become necessary to understand clearly the business implications of these rules. The Business Guide to the World Trading System starts with an overview of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) legal system and the benefits that the business community can derive from it. The Guide explains the role of the WTO as a forum for negotiations, presents the rules applicable to trade in goods; reviews the main features of the rules of the General Agreement on Trade in Services; explains the rules applicable to government procurement and State trading; describes the provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; and looks at the new subject areas on which analytical work is being carried out to determine whether negotiations within the WTO on the development of new rules to cover their trade-related aspects would be desirable.

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) came into existence on 1 January 1995 as a result of the Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations. It is responsible for overseeing the multilateral trading system which has gradually evolved over the last 50 years. WTO also provides a forum for continuing negotiations to liberalize the trade in goods and services through the removal of barriers and to develop rules in new trade-related subject areas. The WTO Agreements have a common dispute settlement mechanism through which Members enforce their rights and settle the differences that arise between them in the course of implementation.

English Spanish, French

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