ABOUT THE WTO

WTO Annual Report 2018

The 2018 Annual Report provides a comprehensive account of the WTO's activities in 2017 and early 2018. The Report begins with a message from WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. This is followed by a brief overview of 2017 and more in-depth accounts of the WTO's various areas of activity over the past 12 months. Spotlights highlight major WTO events and activities, including the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Buenos Aires.

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Introduction

A year in review

Membership

The WTO currently has 164 members, representing 98 per cent of world trade. A total of 22 countries are currently seeking to join the WTO.

Trade negotiations

Changes to the rules of trade require the agreement of all WTO members, who must reach consensus through negotiations.

Implementation and monitoring

Various WTO councils and committees seek to ensure that WTO agreements are being properly implemented. All WTO members undergo periodic scrutiny of their trade policies and practices.

Dispute settlement

WTO members bring disputes to the WTO if they think their rights under trade agreements are being infringed. Settling disputes is the responsibility of the Dispute Settlement Body.

Supporting development and building trade capacity

The WTO aims to help developing countries build their trade capacity and allows them a longer time to implement trade agreements. Hundreds of training courses are organized each year for officials from developing countries.

Outreach

The WTO maintains regular dialogue with the business community, non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians, other international organizations, the media and the general public to enhance cooperation and raise awareness of trade issues.

Secretariat and budget

The WTO Secretariat has over 600 regular staff and coordinates the activities of the WTO. Most of the WTO’s annual budget consists of contributions by its members.

How the WTO is structured

WTO Chairpersons and membership of the WTO

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