Provisional programme


Public Forum 2013


Expanding trade through innovation and the digital economy

A total of 41 sessions will be devoted to the topic of trade and innovation. International organizations, trade experts, academics, business representatives, non-governmental organizations and government representatives will discuss linkages between trade and innovation. Topics for debate will include whether technological innovation has changed the way we trade, and if so, how? The Forum will also discuss whether trade has helped countries to innovate, how innovation can enhance the trading capacities of developing countries, and how trade can keep up with the rapid evolution of technology.

Mr Roberto Azevêdo, who begins his term of office as WTO Director-General on 1 September 2013, will be joined by heads of agencies, trade experts and CEOs to discuss different aspects of trade and innovation in the opening debate entitled “How can innovation foster growth and trade?”

Innovation and international competitiveness will be the theme of the debate on the second day of the Forum. High-level speakers will exchange views on how open trade and innovation work together and how new technologies have changed the traditional way of doing business.

Bali Ministerial Conference issues

A total of 16 sessions on the third day of the Forum will be dedicated to Bali Ministerial Conference issues, such as trade facilitation, development issues, topics related to small and medium-sized enterprises, e-commerce, food security, and future challenges for the Doha Round.

New features

New features for this year’s Public Forum include the Innovation Corner, which will showcase how innovation can enhance countries' trading capacities and create trade opportunities. It will look into innovative concepts, such as 3-D printing and an application that can track the path of a textile product through the manufacturing chain, from the cultivation of raw materials to the final product, thus providing important information on product safety. Visitors to the Innovation Corner will also witness how Kenyan farmers are benefiting from advances in information and communication technology. Also on display will be knowledge-sharing platforms for students, researchers and professionals working in the field of international trade law.

At midday discussions on each day of the Forum, three international organizations will present their insights into trade and innovation. The World Intellectual Property Organization will present its Global Innovation Index 2013, the World Economic Forum its Global Information Technology Report 2013 and the World Trade Organization its World Trade Report 2013.
Another new feature for this year is the iCal application. Users of this application will be able to keep track of the sessions they would like to attend by importing the relevant details of the programme into the calendar on their mobile phone or tablet. The app will also send reminders before the session begins.

Providing feedback

Participants will have the opportunity to record two-minute video messages — “120 seconds to talk” — on the topic “Can we have better trade through innovation?”, which will be streamed on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) under the name Public Forum TV. The most interesting contributions will be posted on the WTO website.

Keeping up to date

Regular updates on the Public Forum will be published on the WTO website and on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). A wide selection of photos from the Forum will be made available on the WTO website and on Flickr.

RSS news feeds

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