신국제경제질서와 세계무역기구(WTO)의 향후과제

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서울대학교 국제지역원
국제지역연구, Vol.07 No.2, pp. 1-19
As a result of the seven-year-long Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) entered into force on 1 January 1995. The establishment of the WTO was a significant event in the modem history of the multilateral trading system. With the creation of the WTO, it is hoped that it can reverse the erosion of the world trading environment and effectively deal with rapid changes in the global economy.

Since its inception three years ago, the WTO has made substantial progress in implementing and administering trade agreements and in settling disputes among member countries. At the same time, the WTO continues to expand its membership and to pursue negotiations on specific service sectors extended from the Uruguay Round. Futhermore, the successful conclusion of the two Ministerial Conferences has provided a well-defined road map for continuing liberalization of trade and a broadening work program to keep the WTO up to date with a fast-changing world economy.

With a wider scope and strengthened institutional setup, the WTO system is performing well. However, there still persists some skepticism regarding the ability of the WTO to address the challenges facing the world economy. At the same time inward-looking regionalism and protectionist movements will continue to progress in some way, undermining the stability of the new world economic order. This is an inevitable fact of the world trading environment. But the nature of these challenges can be greatly influenced by the status of the multilateral trading system. As long as member countries maintain a strong and effective multilateral trading system with the dynamic momentum of trade liberalization, proliferating regionalism will be countered.

It is a little bit too early to judge for sure how successful the new multilateral trading system will perform. But there are already some positive signs. Member countries are turning increasingly to the WTO to resolve trade disputes and a long list of countries are actively seeking membership in the WTO. More importantly, the two Ministerial Conferences broadened the trade agenda and gave strong impetus to further liberalization. The future success of the multilateral trading system lies in all member countries" strong commitment to maintain an open trade regime and to firmly resist any domestic pressures aimed at going back to old practices of protectionism.
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Dept. of International Studies (국제학과)국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.07 (1998)
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