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The Role of IMF and WTO in International Trade

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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What are the IMF and WTO?

The only such worldwide organisation dealing with the laws and policies governing cross-border trade between nations is the World Trade Organisation or WTO. Following the ratification of the Marrakesh Agreement on April 15, 1994, it was founded on January 1, 1995.

The 190 nations that make up the International Monetary Fund (IMF) function for sustainable wealth and success. It accomplishes this by supporting economic policies that facilitate monetary collaboration and economic stability to boost productivity, job creation, and economic well-being. The International Monetary Fund is classified as in charge of all its member nations.

What are the Functions of WTO and IMF?

The Functions of WTO include the following:

  • To aid in and serve as a venue for trade talks.

  • Enforce rules and provisions about the trade policy review mechanism and administer rules and procedures.

  • Work along with other international organisations like the World Bank, the IMF, etc.

  • To offer member nations technical help in trade-related matters and to give them a forum on which to vote on future trade and tariff initiatives.

  • To keep a global trade database and offer tools for the execution, management, and operation of both bilateral and multilateral trade deals.

The Functions of IMF include the following:

  • The IMF's primary significant role is upholding exchange stability and discouraging exchange rate swings.

  • By buying or lending foreign currencies to its members, the Fund assists its member nations in reducing or eliminating the short-term balance of payments equilibrium.

  • The IMF functions as the mechanism for calculating the par values of the national currencies of its members.

  • The IMF plays a crucial role in advising its member nations on various financial and economic issues, aiding in stabilising their economies.

  • The IMF maintains several borrowing and credit facilities to assist the member nations in resolving imbalances in their balance of payments.

The Role of IMF and WTO in International Trade

The Role of IMF

  • Economic observation and monitoring: The IMF prepares reports on the economies of its member nations and identifies potential danger zones (such as imbalanced economies with significant current account deficits or excessive debt levels).

  • Loans to underdeveloped countries: $300 billion in loanable funds are available from the IMF for loans to nations experiencing financial crises. This is contributed by the member nations, each of which made an initial deposit. The IMF may be willing to provide loans as a component of a financial realignment in times of financial or economic crisis.

  • Dependent loans/structural transformation: The IMF often requires that certain requirements be completed before granting loans; Price controls are removed, deficit reduction measures are implemented, tightening monetary policy is used to reduce inflation, and tariff barriers are removed to promote free trade.

  • Technical aid and economic education: The IMF produces many reports and publications to promote local economies.

The Role of WTO

  • Tribunal - The World Trade Organisation serves as a commerce tribunal where members can protest about other members who disobey the rules of international trade. Over 400 grievances have been submitted by WTO members since 1995.

  • Monitor - The WTO routinely examines the trade policy of its members. These evaluations determine whether WTO members follow WTO regulations and calculate the effect of home policy on global commerce.

  • Trainer - About 26% of training activities in 2011 were conducted in Africa.

  • Optimal Utilisation of the World's Resources - The WTO accords must include special clauses for the least-developed economies to ensure the best possible use of the world's resources. These are a few examples of such initiatives with greater trade opportunities, longer deadlines for implementing obligations, and assistance with developing the legal infrastructure.

Objectives of WTO and IMF

The objectives of IMF include the following:

  • The Fund's primary goal is to create worldwide monetary collaboration among its diverse members by creating a permanent institution that offers the tools for collaboration and consultation on various global monetary topics and difficulties.

  • By preserving an orderly exchange system among its members and preventing unneeded competitive exchange devaluations, the Fund also aims to ensure stability in foreign exchange prices.

  • Another significant goal of the IMF is to advance global commerce and help it experience the necessary development and balanced growth.

  • Eliminating or loosening exchange controls that were implemented by virtually every nation before the Second World War as a method of purposefully fixing the rate of exchange at a specific level is another significant goal of the Fund.

The Objectives of WTO Include the Following:

  • Achieving gradual liberalisation of trade in offerings, as required by the GATS, while ensuring flexibility for developing nations and respecting their needs, especially those of small & mid-service providers in developing nations. This is done with a commitment to uphold "the existing structure and principles of the GATS."


Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) have always been crucial in the world economy. These organisations, which are made up of a collection of member states, are often established through the passage of a treaty. Individual IGOs' objectives vary according to their affiliation and role. The Worldwide Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the United Nations are some of the most prevalent and well-known IGOs (IMF).

FAQs on The Role of IMF and WTO in International Trade

1. What are the benefits of WTO?

The system of the World Trade Organisation that works towards administering trade talks and facilitating the procedures has the following benefits: 

  • It fosters peace. 

  • Disputes are resolved constructively. 

  • Rules simplify life for everyone. 

  • Free trade lowers living expenses.

  • It offers a wider range of goods and characteristics. 

  • Increases income. 

  • Trade promotes economic expansion. 

  • Life is more effective when you follow the fundamentals. 

  • Lobbying is protected from governments.

  • The system promotes effective government.

2. What are the benefits of the IMF?

The 184 nations that have willingly joined the IMF are clearly persuaded of the advantages of membership. These nations believe that participation will improve the way they manage their own economies. When a member nation needs it, the IMF also offers technical and financial help.

Below are Some of the Benefits of IMF:

  • Access to details on each member country's economic policy.

  • Possibility to affect the economic policy of members.

  • Access to aid with banking, finances, and currency issues.

  • Financial assistance during a payment crisis.

  • Increased investment and trade opportunities.

3. What is an example of work done by the IMF?

The IMF offered financial help and debt service relief to member nations affected financially by the COVID-19 epidemic as part of the COVID-19 Financial Assistance and Debt Service Relief programme. A quarter of the IMF's total lending capacity of \[$1\] trillion, or around \[$250\] billion, is currently made available to member nations. The borrowing nations have agreed to implement governance measures that promote these resources' ethical and transparent application as part of the COVID19-related fast arrangements.