“Expanding Trade through Innovation and the Digital Economy”

1-3 October 2013
Geneva, WTO headquarters

The WTO Public Forum is an annual event that provides a platform for public debate across a wide range of WTO issues and trade topics. The Public Forum is also an opportunity for us in the WTO to listen and exchange views with NGOs, academia, the private sector, with those of you who are increasingly participating in shaping the world’s economic and political environment. This year’s Public Forum looks at the future of trade in an era of innovation and digitalization.

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Highlights from the Public Forum 2013

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This year’s theme

Innovation and new technologies are a source of growth. They have critically transformed today’s world economy. Open trade has undeniably fostered technology development and dissemination. The new digitalized economy has transformed trade relations. A vast amount of goods and services are now traded through the digital highway, which has contributed to connecting our world more than ever before. This era of innovation also encompasses manufacturing. Robotics and other new technologies like 3D printing are changing the way we make things. Economies of scale are replacing economies of scope and the ramifications for global trading patterns will be profound. The question today is what will be the future of world trade in an era of innovation and digitalization.
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General information for participants

The Forum will begin on 1 October at 9:30 with a keynote speech, to be followed by the Opening Plenary Session. Two other plenary sessions will be organized on 2 and 3 October at 10:00. In the afternoons, sessions organized by participants will take place. Organizers can choose to organize either working sessions or workshops. Working sessions will have a traditional format, with a panel exchanging views with a moderator and taking questions from the audience while workshops will take the form of informal brainstorming sessions.
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More than 8,000 representatives from NGOs, civil society, academia, business, the media, governments, parliamentarians and inter-governmental organizations have attended the Public Forum since it was first launched in 2001.
More on previous Public Forums



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