Last Updated 27 Jan 2021

Comparison and Contrast of the WTO Role

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A comparison of the roles of the WTO and that of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) show that they both aim to improve economic conditions through facilitation of trade. Likewise, the two organizations mutually sponsor each other to assist concerned organizations to conform to each other’s enormous amount of legislation with each of their requirements.

In addition, they are under the guidance of the International Financial Institution Advisory Commission for United States policy recommendations. In contrast, the scope of their roles differs. Whereas the WTO functions for the global community as a whole, the ADB is responsible for the improvement of Asian countries exclusively, although they work hand in hand with other regional development banks in other parts of the world to facilitate their objectives.

Moreover, where ADB is highly known to develop policy initiatives to address environmental sustainability, the WTO is known to have gained a reputation among critics who argue that it emphasizes economic growth at the expense of not only social justice (as mentioned in the introduction part of this paper) but also environmental sustainability as well.

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This implies that ADB focuses on the impact of economic growth to the environment, and the latter takes precedence over any fiscal gain to Asian countries, while WTO gives more importance to the advancement of the world economy, with environmental concerns taking the back seat.


Hoekman, B. & Kostecki, M. (1995). The Political Economy of the World Trading System: From GATT to WTO. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fischer, T. (2000). The United States, the European Union, and the ‘Globalization’ of World Trade: Allies or Adversaries?. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books. Sampson, G. (2005). The WTO and Sustainable Development. New York: United Nations University Press.

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