General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): an international agreement between more than 140 nations on the rules applicable to international trade in goods. As a result of the Pacific Ocean link, this geographic cluster encompasses the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Russia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia with their Asia-Pacific partners33. The regional group, which focuses mainly on economic growth and cooperation, has succeeded in liberalising and promoting free trade and facilitating trade, economic and technical cooperation between Member States. Faced with the slow pace of the WTO Doha Round, APEC members discussed the creation of a free trade area. Given its larger membership than ASEAN, APEC has achieved good results – as soon as its member states have agreed. The two organizations often pursue common goals and strive to coordinate their efforts. The question of whether the WTO fulfils its duty and fulfils its mission is the subject of ongoing debate. Yet the WTO currently has 104 members and 20 observer governments. WTO member countries account for nearly 97% of world trade and 98% of global GDP. As soon as the 20 observational governments become members, it is possible that the WTO will oversee the entire global economy. What began in Geneva in 1947 and which 23 nations focused exclusively on tariff reductions has become a truly global organization dealing with agriculture, labour standards, environmental issues, competition and intellectual property rights. Over the past decade, there has been an increase in these trading blocs, with more than 100 agreements in place and more discussions.

A trade bloc is in fact a free trade area or quasi-free trade zone, which consists of one or more tax, customs and trade agreements between two or more countries. Some trading blocs have resulted in more substantial agreements than others in the establishment of economic cooperation. Of course, there are pros and cons to creating regional agreements. One of the challenges for businesses is to be outside a new trading bloc or to have the “rules” governing their sector change as a result of new trade agreements. In recent decades, bilateral and multilateral trade agreements have multiplied. It is often referred to as the “spaghetti bowl” of bilateral and multilateral global trade agreements, because agreements are not linear strands that do well; Instead, they are a chaotic mix of cross strands, like a bowl of spaghetti that connects countries and trading blocs into self-profit trading alliances. Companies need to monitor and navigate these developing trade agreements to ensure that one or more agreements do not have a negative impact on their businesses in key countries.