Managing Director on WTO Impact and Helping Enter New Markets



Also, the access to previously untapped markets has greatly helped the global economy as well as the different efforts of various countries and their governments to fight off poverty. Indeed, the economic activity that has been fuelled by trade liberalisation has contributed positively to the overall struggle to help ease poverty albeit there remain some countries as well as sectors that have yet to benefit fully from free trade (Mortishead 2006). Still, it cannot be denied that overall. free trade has provided immense opportunities that companies can take advantage of. Thus, for companies that are targeting to go global, it is important to factor in to their strategies the innate benefits of free trade that consumers have come to expect as well as the prospect of having more competitors and intricate transactions in the complex global marketplace (Wyld and Thomas 2011). Background, Aims and Objectives The liberalisation of trade has enabled globalization to gain much traction by allowing access to companies to previously untapped markets as well to take advantage of the different competitive advantages of various countries that can help them mitigate their costs and thereby increase their respective bottomlines. From its early years, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to its current WTO form, the organisation has pushed for greater trade liberalisation in order to maximize the potential of various nations as well as to hear out the pressing concerns that are being voiced out by member countries. Encouragingly, the recent Uruguay round has ushered in new, better and more binding agreements since there are more trade issues that have been sealed by more member nations compared to previous WTO rounds (A Round to End All Rounds, 2011). The increase in the trade agreements as well as the more numerous number of members that have joined together for the Uruguay round has greatly boosted the scope of trade liberalisation. Also, the membership of the previously reclusive China has vastly increased the size of the global market since this country has the largest population all over the world. Consequently, there have been important policy adjustments that have been promulgated by the Chinese to support their membership to the global marketplace. Hence, there have been adjustments in their economic policies as well as their social and legal systems in order for them to qualify for WTO membership. Probably the most important of this was the lowering of their tariffs which have previously barred foreign competitors from entering their economy (Chow 2001). Another important contribution by trade liberalisation was the rise of the private sector which has immensely contributed to the growth of their respective economies and aggregately to the global economy as a whole (Wharton University Articles 2006). The free flow of products and services has also been accompanies by the flow of capital from the richer countries to the developing countries. All these have been made possible when borders and barriers have been significantly brought down by free trade (Wacziarg and Spolaore 2004). Hence, there has been a strong improvement of the global economy as a whole with these important reforms that has been the fruit of having a strengthened free trade and the demolition or easing of protectionist policies between nations. Thus, companies are able to move freely across the borders of different nations gaining important new markets for their products as well as possible cheaper labour that are