In this essay we will discuss about International Economic Institutions. After reading this essay we will learn about: 1. Introduction to International Economic Institutions 2. International Economic Institutions – World Intellectual Property Organization 3. United Nations Industrial Development Organization 4. Asian Development Bank 5. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.


  1. Introduction to International Economic Institutions
  2. International Economic Institutions – World Intellectual Property Organization
  3. International Economic Institutions – United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  4. International Economic Institutions – Asian Development Bank
  5. International Economic Institutions – United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Essay # 1. Introduction to International Economic Institutions:

Several international economic and trade organizations affect the environment of international business in a variety of ways, such as assessing the country’s economic environment, extending credit facilities to national governments as well as individual organizations, undertaking equity investments, providing multilateral guarantees for trade and investment, settling disputes, keeping surveillance of international monetary systems, compiling and disseminating information, protecting intellectual property, providing technical assistance, and funding development projects.

A thorough understanding of the institutional framework, both at the international and national level, thus becomes pertinent for international business managers for effective decision making.


The major international and multilateral institutions have come up under the aegis of the UN system, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank (WB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and International Trade Centre (ITC).

The WTO provides a rule-based multilateral framework for international trade and deals with a variety of issues, such as tariffs, non-tariff barriers, market access, intellectual property rights, subsidies, countervailing measures, rules of origin, policy framework, dumping, etc.

Since it has been the most significant organization of the international economic institutions affecting international trade in the present context.

Constituents of the World Bank group, such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement on Investment Disputes (ICSID), represent the most significant framework of international economic institutions.


The IMF came into existence in 1944, subsequent to the Bretton Woods conference, with an aim to maintain regular dialogue and policy advice to each of its member and providing exchange stability.

The UNCTAD helps create development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy, which has led to the launch of several useful agreements facilitating developing countries to promote trade. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) establishes an institutional framework for the protection of intellectual property internationally.

In order to extend credit and technical assistance for improving the welfare of the people in Asia and the Pacific, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) undertakes projects in the region, aimed at pro-poor sustainable economic growth, social development, and good governance.

Besides, some international orga­nizations, such as the ITC, exclusively deal with the promotion of international trade. Most countries have their own independent organizations to promote international trade.


This article provides broad framework of international and national institutions related to international trade. The institutional framework facilitating international business in India involves the Ministry of Commerce, advisory bodies, commodity organizations, and service organizations.

Economic development has been considered vital to improve the quality of life of millions of people across the world and to reduce poverty. A large number of organizations have been set up under the aegis of the UN to facilitate international trade and investment. This provides an institutional framework for multilateral trade, investment, and international economic growth. 

Essay # 2. International Economic Institutions – World Intellectual Property Organization:

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations headquartered at Geneva. The WIPO is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation, and contributes to economic development while safeguarding public interest.

The WIPO was established by the WIPO convention in 1967 with a mandate from its member states to promote the worldwide protection of IP through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organizations.

The major functions of WIPO include providing:

i. Advice and expertise in the drafting and revision of national legislation which is particularly important for those WIPO member states with obligations under the TRIPS Agreement

ii. Comprehensive education and training programmes at national and regional levels for

a. Officials dealing with intellectual property, including those concerned with management of rights and enforcement; and

b. Traditional and new groups of users, on the value of intellectual property and how to create their own economic assets through better use of the intellectual property system


iii. Extensive computerization assistance to help developing countries acquire the information technology resources (both in human and material terms) to streamline administrative procedures for managing and administering their own intellectual property resources, and to participate in WIPO’s global information network

iv. Financial assistance to facilitate participation in WIPO activities and meetings, especially those concerned with the progressive development of new international norms and practices

The WIPO treats IP as an important tool for the economic, social, and cultural development of all countries. This shapes its mission to promote the effective use and protection of IP worldwide. Strategic goals are set out in a four yearly medium-term plan and refined in the biennial programme and budget document.

The five strategic goals defined by WIPO are:


i. To promote an IP culture.

ii. To integrate IP into national development policies and programmes.

iii. To develop international IP laws and standards.

iv. To deliver quality services in global IP protection systems.


v. To increase the efficiency of WIPO’s management and support processes.

This international protection acts as a spur to human creativity, pushing forward the boundaries of science and technology and enriching the world of literature and arts. It also facilitates providing a stable environment to market intellectual property products internationally.

Essay # 3. International Economic Institutions – United Nations Industrial Development Organization:

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), set up in 1966, is headquartered in Geneva and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1985. It aims to promote industrialization in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition.

UNIDO helps these countries in their fight against marginalization in today’s globalized world. It mobilizes knowledge, skills, information, and technology to promote a productive employment, a competitive economy, and a sound environment.

UNIDO’s assistance is delivered through two core functions, discussed below:

A global forum:


The UNIDO generates and disseminates knowledge related to industrial matters and provides a platform to various stakeholders to enhance cooperation, establish dialogue, and develop partnership.

A technical cooperation agency:

It designs and implements programmes to support the industrial development efforts of its clients. It also offers tailor-made specialized support for programme development.

These two core functions of the UNIDO are complementary and mutually supportive. On one hand, experience gained in the technical cooperation work of UNIDO can be shared with policy makers; on the other, the organization’s analytical work shows where technical cooperation will have the greatest impact by helping define priorities.

Essay # 4. International Economic Institutions – Asian Development Bank:

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a multilateral financial institution that aims to improve the welfare of people in Asia and the Pacific, particularly the 1.9 billion who live on less than US$2 per day. It is owned by 67 member countries, 48 from the region, and 19 from other parts of the globe. Japan and the US are coequally the largest shareholders, each with 12.8 per cent of total subscribed capital.

The ADB has an important role to play in making the region free of poverty, as Asia and the Pacific region are home to two-thirds of the world’s poor. The ADB’s main instruments for providing help to its developing member countries include policy dialogue, loans, technical assistance, grants, guarantees, and equity investments.


The major functions of the bank are:

i. To extend loans and equity investments to its developing member countries (DMCs) for their economic and social development

ii. To provide technical assistance for planning and execution of development projects and programmes and for advisory services

iii. To promote and facilitate investment of public and private capital and development

iv. To respond to requests for assistance in coordinating development policies and plans of its developing member countries

The priorities of the ADB’s projects and programmes include economic growth, human development, gender and development, good governance, environmental protection, private sector development, and regional co-operation. Pro-poor sustainable economic growth, inclusive social development, and good governance are the three pillars of ADB’s poverty reduction strategy.


ADB lends to governments and to public and private enterprises in its developing member countries. Loans and technical assistance are its principal tools which are provided to governments for specific, high-priority development projects and programmes. ADB’s lending both supports and promotes investment for development, based on a country’s priorities.

Essay # 5. International Economic Institutions – United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific:

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN- ESCAP) is the most comprehensive of the UN’s five regional commissions aimed at developing the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1947 with headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand. India is one of the founding members of the ESCAP.

The main mandate of the ESCAP is to foster cooperation among its 53 members and nine associate members. ESCAP provides the strategic link between global and country level programmes and issues. It supports governments of the region in consolidating regional positions and advocates regional approaches to meet the region’s unique socio-economic challenges in a globalizing world.

ESCAP’s major activities include:

i. Regional economic cooperation

ii. Poverty alleviation through growth and social development


iii. Environment and sustainable development

iv. Development of transport communications, tourism, and infrastructure development in the region

v. Enhancing capabilities of national statistical organizations

Trade and investment is one of eight sub-programmes of UN-ESCAP, which aims to benefit the region through the globalization process with the help of increased global and regional trade and investment flows.

The trade and investment division assists countries to:

i. Understand trade and investment agreements, their implications, and economics.

ii. Facilitate trade and investment flows, including trade finance and e-commerce.

iii. Promote regional trade agreements in conformity with the multilateral trading system.

iv. Understand the economics of trade policy.

v. Negotiate accession to the WTO, especially for least developed countries and economies in transition.

vi. Formulate more effective policies and strategies for foreign direct investment promotion and facilitation.

vii. Develop small and medium sized enterprises and promote entrepreneurship.

viii. Access trade and investment related information.

Trade facilitation, trade and investment information, regional trade agreements, Doha development agenda, investment promotion and facilitation, and enterprise development are its areas of focus.