In 1993, the GATT was updated (“GATT 1994”) to include new commitments for its signatories. One of the most important changes was the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The existing 76 members of GATT and the European Communities became founding members of the WTO on 1 January 1995. The other 51 GATT members re-joined the WTO over the next two years (the last time in 1997). Since the creation of the WTO, 33 new non-GATT members have joined and 22 are currently negotiating accession. A total of 164 member countries are members of the WTO, with Liberia and Afghanistan being the youngest members in 2018. The prosperity of the world economy over the past half century is due in large part to the growth of world trade, which in turn is partly the result of far-sighted officials who launched gatt. They established a set of procedures to bring stability to the business environment, thus facilitating the rapid growth of global trade. In the long term, the initial GATT conferences helped put the global economy on a solid footing, improving the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people around the world. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), signed by 23 countries on October 30, 1947, was a legal agreement that minimized barriers to international trade by eliminating or reducing quotas, tariffs and subsidies while maintaining important regulations. The WTO operates on the basis of five key principles that form the basis of the multilateral trading system.
First, the WTO does not allow countries to distinguish between their trading partners or between domestic and foreign products. The second basic principle is to promote freer trade by removing barriers to trade through negotiation. Third, the WTO maintains the predictability and stability of the multilateral trading system by establishing binding commitments that increase investment and business competition. Fourth, the WTO supports fair competition by creating a level playing field for all its Members. Last but not least, the WTO also promotes development and economic reforms for the least developed countries (DDCs). In addition to facilitating applied tariff reductions, gatt`s early contribution to trade liberalization includes “the immobilization of tariff reductions negotiated for a longer period (more permanent in 1955), the establishment of the generality of non-discrimination through most-favoured-nation (MOST-FAVOURED-NATION) treatment, and the status of domestic treatment, ensuring greater transparency of trade policy measures and providing a forum for future negotiations. and for the peaceful settlement of bilateral disputes. All these elements have contributed to the rationalization of trade policy and the elimination of trade barriers and political uncertainty.  Most-favoured-nation treatment: Article II of the GATS requires members to extend immediately and unconditionally to services or service suppliers of all other members “which are no less favourable than the treatment accorded to similar services and service suppliers of another country.” This amounts in principle to prohibiting preferential arrangements between groups of members in individual sectors or reciprocal provisions limiting access to benefits to trading partners that accord similar treatment.