Impacts of WTO on Saudi Arabia

Impacts of WTO on Saudi Arabia

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the successor organization to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is one form of global governance actively supported by global business firms in particular and national governments in nation states with major global business firms. Support for the WTO comes primarily from the major developed economies. In spite of the support for the WTO among the major developed economies, however, each of the major developed economies continually attempts to circumvent the rules to provide benefits for benefits for global business firms from their own country at the expense of global business firms from other countries.

WTO efforts to further liberalize global trade have faltered over the past few years in the face of public opposition to globalization manifested in violent public protests at Seattle, Quebec City, and Genoa. The hope of the WTO was the meeting in somewhat remote and isolated Doha, Qatar would lead to agreement among WTO members to approve continuing negotiations toward further global trade liberalization. Essentially, all that has thus far been agreed is that the major economies and the developing economies should continue to talk.

In spite of the acrimony surrounding the WTO, most developing countries recognize that benefits are available through WTO membership is equitable terms can be negotiated. One such developing economy is Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the largest economy that is not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Over the past several years, dissension has existed within the Saudi Arabian government (SAG) and within the country’s business and financial community concerning the benefits and risks of membership in the WTO. At present (late summer 2004), the SAG indicates a desire to gain membership in the WTO by the end of 2004.

WTO membership, however, will require further major adjustments in the way in which Saudi Arabia (b…

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