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International trade

There has been a rapid increase of bilateral, regional and mega-regional trade agreements because the WTO Doha Round of negotiations did not reach a conclusion. Trade in most agricultural commodities is expected to increase, trade rules are becoming more complex, and, in times of food crises, trade instruments are being used by some countries to guarantee food for their own people. Trade can have significant implications for food security, nutrition and employment.  

FAO supports member countries by providing:

• In-depth analysis on the possible consequences of trade policies
• Capacity development to improve understanding of international rules and their implications
• Neutral fora for dialogue between stakeholders from Trade and Agriculture
• Support to regional trade integration
• Assistance in preparing for trade negotiations and implementing agreements

Key facts

• The value of trade in agricultural products has grown almost threefold over the past decade and will continue to do so.
• Low and middle income countries account for approximately one third of global trade in food and agricultural products.
• WTO has 164 member countries, of which 36 are least developed.
• Between 2000 and 2015 the number of Regional Trade Agreements in force more than doubled.