WTO at a Glance

22 October 2019


The World Trade Organisation (WTO), with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, operates a global system of trade rules and acts as a forum for negotiating trade agreements.

Comprising 164 member countries, the WTO discourages 'unfair' practices, so that foreign companies, investors and governments can be confident that trade barriers will not be raised arbitrarily. By setting the ground rules for trade based on this premise of Most Favoured Nation, its aim is to help trade flow freely.

Every year the WTO holds an event - The Public Forum - for people involved in international trade. This is attended by governments, business, academia and the media and focuses on briefings on the latest developments in global trade.

Some of the key messages coming out of this year's Public Forum indicated that:

* trade wars risk breaking up the trading system

* automation increasingly impacts on the structural transformation of the labour market

* trade in services is escalating at a faster rate than trade in goods

* a high proportion of teens (72%) want to start their own business, causing a decline in the 'talent pool' for employers (KPMG)

For further information on the event, and the work of The World Trade Organisation, visit www.wto.org


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