Table of Contents

  • This is an accessible guide to the vocabulary used in trade negotiations. It explains about 2,500 terms and concepts in simple language. Its main emphasis is on the multilateral trading system represented by the agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO). In addition it covers many of the trade-related activities, outcomes and terms used in other international organizations, such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the OECD. The last five years have seen a rapid spread in the formation of freetrade areas in all parts of the world. This dictionary allocates generous space to the vocabulary associated with such agreements. It offers clear explanations, for example, of the concepts used in the administration of preferential rules of origin. Additional areas covered include emerging trade issues and issues based particularly on developing-country concerns.

  • At the heart of the World Trade Organization (WTO), as an international organization, is a set of rules that regulate trade between nations: a body of agreements which have been negotiated and signed by governments of the majority of the world's trading nations, with the aim of promoting transparency, predictability and non-discrimination in trading relations. These agreements, covering trade in goods, trade in services and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, help to define and inform the multiple roles of the WTO, in administering the trade agreements, providing a forum for trade negotiations, handling trade disputes, monitoring national trade policies, providing technical assistance and capacity building for developing countries, and cooperating with other international organizations. Understanding these agreements and their practical, policy and legal contexts therefore provides significant insights into the WTO as an institution, its activities and international role, its partnerships with other organizations, and the way in which WTO Member governments identify and pursue their national interests through this intergovernmental forum.