is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the website
of the 2010 WTO Public Forum on “The Forces Shaping
World Trade” .
World trade has undergone major changes since the
establishment of the WTO some 15 years ago. The world's
traditional powers are now sharing the spotlight with
new political actors — the fast-growing emerging
economies. The introduction of new technologies has
changed the way business is conducted and the way people
interact. And new issues have arisen, changing the
nature of how the public views trade. The recent
economic and financial crisis has had an unprecedented
impact on trade and has underlined the need to address
the new challenges facing the multilateral trading
An increasing number of stakeholders are having their
say in shaping the world 's economic and political
environment. The three days of the WTO Public Forum are
dedicated to them. Representatives of civil society
organizations, business groups, trade unions, academics
and many others will have an opportunity to engage in
open discussions, raise issues of interest to them and
contribute towards the work of the WTO.
The different forces shaping world trade today raise new
concerns and call for new solutions. In this changing
environment, what is the role of the WTO? How can it
adapt to meet present and future challenges? Is the Doha
Round still relevant today? These are just some of the
questions that the 2010 Public Forum will try to answer.
I am confident that, through your active engagement and
participation, this year's discussion will prove to be
both stimulating and thought-provoking.