Trade Organisations


Trade organizations are associations that countries establish to liberalize trade among member countries through voluntary participation. Treaties like the NAFTA aim to liberalize trade between member countries smoothly. Trade organizations are established for specific purposes. The aim is to help its members enjoy various economic benefits.

List of Trade Organizations

Major trade organizations are:


Trade organizations are associations that countries establish to liberalize trade among member countries through voluntary participation. Treaties like the NAFTA aim to liberalize trade between member countries smoothly. Trade organizations are established for specific purposes. The aim is to help its members enjoy various economic benefits.

List of Trade Organizations

Major trade organizations are:

  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
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  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
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  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
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  • International Trade Centre
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  • World Customs Organization (WCO)
  • World Fair Trade Organization

History of Trade Organizations

Following the World War II, free trade movements were introduced. In 1947, the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) was formed, with a focus on tariff reduction related negotiations to reduce import competition. Member nations of the GATT took a more formal approach by establishing the World Trade Organization.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is another well known treaty, comprising the US, Canada, and Mexico. In 1958, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) was formed to promote trade between Japan and the rest of the world. Its aim was to help Japanese companies maximize their export potential at a global level.

Importance of Trade Organizations

Several factors have increased the importance of trade organizations. Increased outsourcing, globalization, industrialization, and growth of multinational corporations have ignited its growing role in today’s world of economic uncertainties. Efforts to remove trade barriers are an integral part of trade organizations. Trade organizations also started the trade justice movements to improve and develop social, labor and environmental standards.

Current Challenges of Trade Organizations

The challenges of trade organizations are to:

  • Ensure that multilateral and regional trade reforms are complementary.
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  • Enhance institutional reforms of the World Trade Organization.
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  • Address issues, such as trade-related environments, illegal immigrants, competition policies, and investment and labor issues.

Future Challenges of Trade Organizations

Trade organizations face the following future challenges:

  • A variety of costs that pertain to trade agreements. Such costs may hinder trade development.

  • Some regions or industries face higher risk of closure that results in increased layoffs and weak performance in the wake of global competition.

  • Wage pressures and rising inequalities in income.

All over the world, numerous trade organizations and treaties pursue their plans with the aim of making trade smooth and hassle-free.

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