The Full form of WTO is World Trade Organization. WTO was created in 1995 and it is an international institution that oversees the global trade rules among countries. It superseded the 1947 GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) created in the wake of World War II. The World Trade Organization is primarily based on agreements signed by the majority of trading nations of the world. The main function of the WTO is to help exporters, importers, and producers of goods and services manage and protect their businesses.
The WTO has 164 member countries as of 2019, with Afghanistan and Liberia the most recent members, having joined in July 2016, and 23 “observer” countries. The WTO prohibits discrimination between trading nations, but provides exceptions for national security, environmental protection, and other important goals. Any kind of trade-related disputes are resolved at the World Trade Organization by independent judges through a process of dispute resolution.
The current Director-General of WTO is Roberto Azevedo, who leads a staff of more than 600 people in Geneva, Switzerland. The first comprehensive agreement in the WTO’s history was a trade facilitation agreement, which is a part of the Bali Package of decisions, was agreed by all member nations on December 2013.