World Trade Organization (WTO)


Tel.: +41 22 739 5111

Fax: +41 22 731 4206

E-mail: enquiries [at] wto.org ()

enquiries [at] wto.org
World Trade Organization
Centre William Rappard, Rue de Lausanne 154
CH-1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization dealing with the global rules on trade between nations. Its main objective is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly and predictably as possible.

It does this by:

  • Administering trade agreements;
  • Acting as a forum for trade negotiations;
  • Settling trade disputes;
  • Reviewing national trade policies;
  • Ensuring coherence in policy-making; and
  • Providing technical assistance and training to developing countries and LDCs.

The WTO trained more than 18,600 individuals in 2016 (mainly government officials of developing and LDC WTO Members), through around 270 technical cooperation activities held online, in its headquarters in Geneva or in the field. The WTO dedicates annually approximately one-third of its resources to technical assistance (TA), which became over the recent past one of the main pillars of the Multilateral Trading System.

An external evaluation of the WTO TA for 2010-15 conducted in 2016 found that, overall, the TA provided by the WTO had been effective in contributing to the development of beneficiaries' capacity to work with the multilateral trade rules and negotiations. The WTO was considered to be highly relevant to beneficiaries' needs. The evaluation found proof of the impact of the WTO TA on human and institutional capacities of beneficiaries in the field of trade policy making and strong evidence of impact on Members' more effective participation in the multilateral trading system.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide

Online courses, face-to-face seminars or workshops and internships
Technical assistance
World Trade Report and International Trade Statistics
Joint technical assistance activities and Trade Facilitation Facility
Aid-for-Trade Initiative