Trade and intellectual property

Data last updated 28 Feb 2023
WTO Member
WTO Observer
Neither WTO Member nor Observer
Data not collected

Source: The World Trade Organization (WTO) publishes a list of WTO members and observers which was accessed in January 2023.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), with 164 members and 25 observer governments, helps address emerging infectious diseases by facilitating international cooperation, ensuring fair trade rules, and promoting access to essential medical supplies and technology. The WTO’s membership structure comprises original member states, including parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the European Communities, who largely acquired their status upon the WTO’s entry into force on 1 January 1995. All other members have joined the organization as a result of negotiation, and membership consists of a balance of rights and obligations. Aside from membership, some governments and international organizations are observers to the WTO which grants them the opportunity to participate in and contribute to WTO activities, but without voting rights. The decision to grant observer status or extend an offer of accession is made through consensus among members. Because the terms are unique to each applicant dependent upon the country's stage of economic development and current trade regime, understanding a country’s status in the WTO supports users in identifying the country’s rights, obligations, and access to trade-related benefits.

Related treaty

Explore policies