The Multilateral Trading System:

50 years of achievement

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Slide 18

New challenges lie ahead

The past has shown how difficult setting the rules for trade has been. It has also shown what can be achieved, and this will be important for the future.

Already, in 1997, three new agreements were reached at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva (pictured here), to liberalize trade in telecommunications services, information technology products, and financial services.

Already on the horizon are new talks in areas such as agriculture and services. Resuming negotiations in these subjects is a commitment in the present WTO agreements.

Who knows, perhaps the turn of the century will bring the first WTO trade round; perhaps in an increasingly complex world, trade negotiations will take a different form. It is already clear that there will be plenty to talk about.

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