International Economic and Trade Organizations
There are many international organizations functioning all over the world. They differ in their spheres of interest and size however all of them have their influence on international business relations. The most known international trade organization is the World Trade Organization.
The World Trade Organization (WTO)
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization designed by its founders to supervise and liberalize international trade.
The WTO’s overriding objective is to help trade flow smoothly, freely, fairly and predictably. It does this by:
– Administering trade agreements;
– Acting as a forum for trade negotiations;
– Settling trade disputes;
– Reviewing national trade policies;
– Assisting developing countries in trade policy issues, through technical assistance and training programmes;
– Cooperating with other international organizations.
The WTO has more than 130 members, accounting for over 90% of world trade. Over 30 others are negotiating membership. Decisions are made by the entire membership. This is typically by consensus. The WTO’s top level decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference which meets at least once every two years. Below this is the General Council.
The WTO’s rules — the agreements — are the result of negotiations between the members. Through these agreements, WTO members operate a non-discriminatory trading system that spells out their rights and their obligations. Each country receives guarantees that its exports will be treated fairly and consistently in other countries’ markets. Each promises to do the same for imparts into its own market. The system also gives developing countries some flexibility in implementing their commitments.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was created by the oil-exporting countries realizing that if they were united they could bargain more effectively with the large oil companies. Of the 13 OPEC member-countries, most are in the Middle East, however, there are also large oil-exporting countries such as Mexico, Norway, and United Kingdom that are not members of the OPEC.
Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
All the world’s developed countries are the members of the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD publishes extensive research on a wide variety of international business and economic subjects. The governments also seek answers to common problems and work to coordinate domestic and international policies.