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    Trade Law: Balancing Priorities


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2005


    International trade treaties such as the WTO Agreements and others are shaping the way trade is conducted - but developing countries risk
    falling behind because they are not adopting important existing treaties, or contributing to new ones. About 600 multilateral trade treaties exist, and more are coming into being.

    Faced with a maze of treaties, developing countries frequently don't know where to concentrate their limited resources. ITC has started to provide an answer, by identifying the 205 international treaties that do most to help businesses trade across borders.

    We are also working to link up developing countries with the organizations that manage these treaties. The 19 main trade treaty bodies met recently with representatives from 50 developing economies to discuss how to improve their participation in adopting existing treaties and drafting new ones. They found that in some cases, both treaties and treaty-making processes don't consider sufficiently the needs of developing countries. Learn more about recommendations and findings from the meeting in the article "Making Sense of TradeTreaties".

    We've also put together a table showing how the 192 United Nations member states rank in terms of ratifying the most important treaties. While many developing countries have become WTO members, the table shows that few have ratified more than 30% of the world's 205 most important trade treaties. For more information on this subject, see the latest Trade Forum article collection on trade law.