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World Trade Organization (WTO)

The main goal of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is trade liberalisation within certain statutory parameters.

This involves partly the removal of barriers to trade, but also requires that individuals, companies and states all over the world are made aware of the rules governing trade and that they can be confident that they will not encounter any abrupt trade policy changes.

Another important mission of the WTO is to serve as a forum for trade negotiations.

The third essential mission of the WTO is conflict resolution, because trade relations often involve conflicts of interest. Furthermore, agreements, also the ones that have been carefully negotiated in the WTO, are often subject to interpretation.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is a cooperation organisation of democratic market economies. Its mission is

  • to bring about economic growth, employment and rising living standards in its member countries and
  • to contribute to the development of the world economy and trade on the basis of multilateralism.

Group of 8

The coordination of issues related to the WTO and the OECD is managed by the Department for External Economic Relations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Department also follows the Group of 8 (G8), which is a discussion forum of the leading industrialised countries. The annual G8 summits of Heads of Government endeavour

  • to enhance the leaders' mutual confidence,
  • to bring up new issues and
  • to find solutions to challenging questions.

The agenda of each summit is tailored to meet the needs of the prevailing world situation.

Other economic organisations are, for example, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE or ECE).

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Updated 10/17/2008

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