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World Trade Organisation (WTO)

This was established on January 1, 1995, as a result of the Uruguay Round. It replaced the General agreement on tariffs and trade as the legal and institutional foundation of the multilateral trading system of its member countries. The World Trade Organisation provides the principal contractual obligations determining how governments frame and implement domestic legislation and regulations regarding international trade. It is also the platform for trade negotiations and adjudication among its members. As of July 2013, 159 countries belonged to it - i.e. some three quarters of the countries of the world. The WTO is an autonomous organisation, independent from the United Nations.

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