There are many international economic organizations.
In this post, I’m going to give you important facts you must know about 15 of these international economic organizations.
1. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a financial institution set up to manage the international monetary system.
The IMF also aims to create favourable conditions for the expansion of international trade. To achieve this goal, the IMF works to provide an all-around extension of international purchasing power
This short-term financial assistance is to enable countries in temporary (short-term) balance of payment difficulties to overcome such difficulties without harming the interests of others.
The IMF came out of the Bretton Woods conference of1944 which established more or less fixed exchange rates in the world.
2. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)/World Bank
Another international economic organization is the the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The IBRD is popularly known as the World Bank
The IBRD or World Bank is a sister institution of the IMF as both are products of the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference in the USA.
The World Bank is the world’s largest source of long-term multilateral development finance.
3. International Development Association (IDA)
The International Development Association is an affiliate of the World Bank. A general feeling that development finance on somewhat easier terms should be made available to the poorer areas of the less-developed world led to the formation of the IDA.
4. International Finance Corporation (IFC)
The IFC is another member of the World Bank Group. This international economic organization operates on more commercial lines.
5. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
OPEC is a cartel of crude oil producers that supplies crude oil to the world market. It is the best known international commodity agreement and an important example of international economic cooperation.
The OPEC was formed in 1960 with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland – a neutral ground for its member-states.
OPEC is made up of thirteen-member-nations namely Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ecuador, Algeria, Libya, Kuwait, Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq, Qatar, Gabon, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Saudi Arabia remains the largest producer of oil within the OPEC.
OPEC accounts for about 60% of total global crude-oil production.
In fact, OPEC accounts for 90% of the world’s total exports. This is due to the fact that other large producers, the USA and Russia, are not major exporters of crude oil.
6. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is an international economic organization made up of fifteen West African States (Mauritania having left in 2002). The ECOWAS seeks to accelerate economic and social development of member states. The overall goal of ECOWAS is to improve the living standards of their people.
The current 15 member states of the ECOWAS are:
Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Mali, Cape Verde, Niger, Togo, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Benin
Click here for a more detailed information on the ECOWAS
7. European Economic Community (EEC)
The European Economic Community (EEC) is also known as The European Common Market.
The EEC’s main objective is to promote free trade among members under the Treaty of Rome, Italy in (1957). The founding members of the EEC were six European countries namely Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland.
Britain, The Republic of Ireland and Denmark joined the EEC in 1972.
Much later, Spain, Portugal and Greece also joined the.
Today, the EEC has expanded beyond Europe with the acceptance of some African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries as associate members.
8. The African Development Bank (AfDB)
The African Development Bank came into being in 1964. This was as a result of the combined efforts of both The Organization of African Unity (OAU) and The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The main objective of the African Development Bank is to spearhead the economic and social development of Africa. The AfDB hopes to achieve this goal through the granting of loans to private firms and governments of member states.
The headquarters of the African Development Bank are in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
9. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Next on this list of international economic organizations is the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
United Nations established UNCTAD to help least developed countries or LDCs deal with their international trade problems. It held its maiden conference in Geneva, Switzerland in 1964.
10. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was signed by 23 countries in Geneva, Switzerland in October 1947.
GATT aimed to explore ways to reduce barriers in international trade, eliminate discrimination and prevent any new restrictions on international trade.
11. The World Trade Organization (WTO)
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade.
The WTO is the only international economic organization which deals with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments (especially the Uruguay Round of Talks, 1986 – 1994).
The WTO officially commenced work on January 1, 1995, under the Marrakesh Agreement signed by 123 nations on 15 April 1994. The WTO thus effectively replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which had been in operation since 1948.
The headquarters of the World Trade Organization are in Geneva, specifically Centre William Rappard, Switzerland.
The WTO currently has 164 members and 23 observer governments.
12. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
The ECA is an international economic organization established in 1958 with the aim of promoting the social and economic development of Africa.
The Economic Commission for Africa coordinates the developmental activities of the United Nations and its agencies in Africa.
The headquarters of the ECA are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
13. The West African Clearing House (WACH)
The West African Clearing House (WACH) is an international economic organization for West Africa. The WACH aims to provide effective bank facilities and operations in West Africa. This is to enable its members to overcome the obstacles faced in commercial transactions within the West African sub-region
14. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a pledge by African leaders to eradicate poverty on the continent.
The NEPAD pledge is based on a common vision and a shared conviction that they have a pressing duty to eradicate poverty and to place their countries, both individually and collectively on a path of sustainable growth and development. The members of NEPAD work to participate actively in the world economy and body politic
15. The Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) of the United Nations
AGOA is one of the partnerships constituting the NEPAD. The government of the United States of America created AGOA to help develop trade and development opportunities for African countries.
To wrap it all up …
It should now be relatively easy for you to provide the relevant points in an answer to any question that asks you to write short notes on one or more of these international economic organizations.
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