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Romania at WTOThe WTO (http://www.wto.org) was established on 1st of January 1995, being the successor of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), signed on 30 October 1947 and entered into force on 1st January 1948.
The aim of the GATT, representing together with the World Bank and the International Monetary Found the so called "Bretton Woods" institutions established after the second world war, was to agree on trade rules and disciplines based on the basic principles of non-discrimination (i.e. most favoured nation treatment and national treatment), the free and fair competition between all participants, and progressive liberalization of international trade.
Until the end of 1994 eight Rounds of multilateral trade negotiations have taken place under the GATT aegis, the main objective being the progressive liberalization of international trade.
The last Round of negotiations in GATT's history was the Uruguay Round, launched in 1986 at the Punta de Este Ministerial Conference, being the most important in the history of the multilateral trading system both through the level of commitments taken and through the agreed package of legal framework and instruments. The Uruguay Round negotiations have been concluded within the Final Act signed in Marrakech in April 1994 by 124 countries and separate customs territories, through which was agreed to create the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the legal successor of the GATT system.
The WTO is the only international organization establishing trade rules between nations. These rules are embodied in the WTO Agreements and are negotiated, signed and ratified by the Member states Parliaments; the main objective of these agreements is to support the producers of goods and services, the exporters and importers in carrying out their activities.
The main difference between WTO and GATT is that WTO includes not only rules on trade in goods but also rules on trade in services, trade-related intellectual property rights and a mechanism on dispute settlement.
The WTO is a Members driven Organization, all the decisions being taken by its Members, as a general rule by consensus (by Ministers on the occasion of Ministerial Conferences, or by officials of Member states - meeting regularly in Geneva).
The WTO disciplines that have to be applied by WTO Members are the result
of negotiations between them and are compulsory. The non-observance of
obligations may lead to sanctions, which are not imposed by the Organization,
but the affected member, under the WTO rules.
The Ministerial Conference in Doha (9-13 November 2001)
The November 2001 Declaration of the Fourth Ministerial Conference in
Doha, Qatar, provides the mandate for negotiations on a range of subjects
and other work, including issues concerning the implementation of the present
Romania at WTO
Romania acceded to the GATT in 1971, being a signatory to almost all major Tokyo Round Agreements.
Romania has also actively participated in all areas of negotiations in the Uruguay Round, expecting a more transparent, predictable and stable multilateral trading system to facilitate improved market access for Romanian products.
At the end of 1994, the Parliament of Romania ratified by Law 133/1994 the Marrakech Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Romania becoming thus, as from 1st January 1995, a founding WTO Member, together with other 83 countries.
The fundamental changes in the politic, social and economic regime of Romania after 1989, allowed an active participation of our country in the final stage of multilateral trade negotiations of the Uruguay Round (1990-1993). Romania accepted the entirety of legal instruments negotiated during the Round and has taken a large number of commitments, correlated with its development needs and objectives, on trade liberalization on goods and services.
Romania permanently acted in a constant manner, as a GATT Contracting Party and a WTO Member (see WTO chairpersons for 2002), in the following directions:
Other Useful Links:The Governance Program : http://domino.kappa.ro/guvern/ehome.nsf
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania: http://www.mae.ro
Romanian Foreign Trade Center: http://www.traderom.ro
Trade Point Romania: http://www.tpb.traderom.ro
Bussiness opportunities: http://www.profitromania.com
Romanian Chamber of Commerce: http://www.ccir.ro