21 February 2006

Lamy takes 200 questions on many trade issues in his first live chat

Responding to questions from all over the world about many subjects ranging from sustainable development to generic medicines, Director-General Pascal Lamy held his first live online chat on 21 February 2006, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Geneva time.

> Transcript of Mr Lamy's Internet chat

In 1-1/2 hours, he responded to almost 200 questions in English, French and Spanish from many countries, including Brazil, China, Morocco, the United States, and from those applying for WTO membership, such as the Russian Federation and Vietnam. At anytime, some 25 to 30 questions were in the queue from students, NGOs, government officials, professors and journalists.

The questions touched on many trade issues in the news, such as progress in the Doha Round, the development aspect of the trade talks, farm subsidies, China's role in international trade, medicine and public health, and settlement of trade disputes.

Near the end of the lunchtime chat, one concerned participant asked Mr Lamy if he was getting hungry. The Director-General replied that he had “a solid breakfast, and bread and banana are in my office”.

At the end of the chat, Mr Lamy said that he hoped he could hold another live chat “probably around two months from now”.