Meetings organised by world trade organisations wto
The expected decision to begin a new round of negotiations was thus not made and for the first time following the conferences in Singapore and Geneva, a Minister's Declaration was not passed. A new round of multilateral trade negotiations was initiated, China and the independent customs territory of Taiwan were accepted as members and the area of new negotiations was expanded to include the relationship between trade and investments, competition policy and environmental protection.
The Minister's Declaration outlined that the new round would include negotiations in the following areas: The position of the Republic of Croatia at the Ministerial Conference in Doha was presented at the plenary session of the Conference, and in the framework of informal consultative groups of CEFTA plus and groups of new members, at whose intervention the remark recognizing the concessions made by new members in the process of WTO accession was built into the final Declaration.
This is significant in order to prevent such concessions being sought from those countries in future rounds of negotiations. It is comprised of representatives of member countries and is responsible to and acts on behalf of the Ministerial Conference. The Dispute Settlement Body meets at the level of the General Council and consists of two auxiliary bodies:.
Councils are the third level of the organizational structure, are responsible to the General Council and are made up of representatives of all member countries. The Councils are authorized to deal with issues from their constituent agreements, consist of specialized committees, working groups and working parties, which are fourth level bodies, and are also made up of representatives of all members.
There are three councils: Goods Council consists of 11 committees which cover specific areas of the agreement. These are the Committees for Agriculture, market access, application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, textiles and clothing, technical barriers to trade, subventions and compensation measures, investment measures relating to trade, protectionist measures, anti-dumping measures, permitted exports, rules on origin, inspection prior to transport and the Working Group for state commercial enterprises;.
Services Council consists of auxiliary bodies, Working groups for professional services, regulations of the trade of services and specific commitments, and Intellectual Property TRIPS Council. Committees and working groups within the Council bodies are the fourth levels of the WTO organizational structure.
The Secretariat is composed of the Office of the Director-General, and the offices of the four assistants to the Director-General.
The staff numbers and the Secretariat holds no decision making functions. Its basic function is to offer technical assistance to numerous councils, boards, ministerial conferences and technical assistance to developing countries, legal assistance in the conflict resolution process and advises governments wishing to become members of the WTO.
The annual budget of the Secretariat is million Swiss francs. Informal WTO groups In the context of promoting its interests, in addition to appearing individually, member countries form groups according to common interests or in accordance with the course of negotiations, and appear together within the framework of several informal and consultative groups. The CAIRNS group arose prior to the beginning of the Uruguay round of negotiations in order for states to strengthen their positions within negotiations on trade liberalization in agricultural products.
This group has become an important factor in negotiations on agriculture. The representative of the European Commission acts on behalf of he 15 EU member states except in the area of services , though each state is an individual WTO member. Croatia and the WTO. Croatia began its preparations for accession to the GATT in , and officially obtained monitor status on 27 October , at which time the Croatian Working Group for accession to the WTO was established.
Negotiations on Croatia's accession to the WTO lasted for 6. In the multilateral negotiations, the harmonization of Croatian trade, customs, currency, tax and other legislation to the regulations of the WTO Agreement were confirmed. Bilateral negotiations were held with 19 WTO members who expressed their interest to discuss customs issues for access for their goods and services on the Croatian market: In September , the Republic of Croatia was blocked in the process of accession to WTO due to a general position and request by the USA and EU France with respect to the liberalization of audiovisual services, in which the USA represented a position of liberalization and the EU a position of protecting cultural diversity.
Croatia sought the same treatment as the Baltic states, arguing its position that Croatia is a European nation oriented towards integration in European structures, is a member of the Council and Europe and a signatory of the Convention on Cross-border television.
The US failed to accept these arguments, stating that Croatia did not have a signed treaty of institutionalised relations with the EU, as the Baltic states had in their Agreement on Association.
In February , the Croatian bid was altered in a way closer to the EU demands, however, this was not accepted by the American side. New informal negotiations led to an agreement which did not include commitments in terms of programme content, but in giving concessions towards achieving ownership of radio and TV station management.
With its accession into the WTO, the average customs levels on industrial products in Croatia was reduced from 9. For agricultural products, tariffs were reduced from In the area of services, Croatia has significantly opened its market, and in terms of audiovisual services, it has followed the Baltic model, which approved the exception of principles of most-favoured nation and further obligation in the areas of audiovisual cinematography, theatre and telecommunications services, including the abolition of the added value tax on cinema tickets.
Croatia became a signatory of the WTO multilateral Agreement on trade of civil aircraft. Negotiations on signing the multilateral Agreement on state procurement were launched based on the Croatia's request in the status of monitor from 14 June to February As a member, Croatia first participated at the Ministerial Conference in in Doha, where a new round of multilateral trade negotiations was initiated.
The position of Croatia was outlined during the plenary session of the Conference, within the informal group CEFTA plus and within the group of new members. In terms of WTO multilateral trade system, Croatia supports the following positions: Multilateral Relations General information on World Trade Organisation WTO The World Trade Organization WTO is an international organization which represents the institutional and legal framework of a multilateral trade system in the area of customs and the trade of goods, services and intellectual property.
Objectives of the WTO The overriding objective of the WTO is the achievement of sustainable growth and economic development, general benefits, a liberal trade environment and contributions towards achieving better cooperation in leading the world economic policies.
Therefore, the WTO is focused on the creation of: Principles of the WTO WTO agreements include several fundamental principles, which are aimed at the creation of a multilateral trading system, and include: The Dispute Settlement Body meets at the level of the General Council and consists of two auxiliary bodies: It is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements.
It is a place for them to settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules. Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other. The WTO is run by its member governments. All major decisions are made by the membership as a whole, either by ministers who usually meet at least once every two years or by their ambassadors or delegates who meet regularly in Geneva.
The WTO agreements are lengthy and complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities. But a number of simple, fundamental principles run throughout all of these documents. These principles are the foundation of the multilateral trading system. An introduction, in more depth, to the WTO and its agreements.