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Role in the World

This fact was correct when it was updated on 24 Sep 2020

What does ‘most-favoured nation’ (MFN) mean?

This is a principle of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It means that WTO members cannot discriminate between their trading partners and must, with a few exceptions, offer access to their market on the same terms for all WTO members. Any favour offered to one country must be offered to all. However, members can go further and offer better trading terms to some countries if, for example, they agree a free trade agreement or they give developing countries better terms.

For more on MFN and WTO rules, read our WTO report.

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