This year, the Public Forum will tell the human story behind trade. It will showcase the myriad connections between trade and people’s daily lives and demonstrate how trade impacts and improves the day-to-day lives of citizens around the globe, whether in developed or developing countries.
“No nation was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly the most disadvantageous”, wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1774 in a pro-trade pamphlet. Imagine what Franklin might say about today’s globalized world: trade has become such a pillar of the global economy that we often do not even realize how often we interact with products and services that come from beyond our borders. Even a seemingly simple product like your favourite pair of jeans may originate in one place, be produced in another and shipped from a third country before finding its way into your local shop.
This international production of goods and services contributes to the development of poorer countries and to the growth of the world economy. Similarly, millions of products are transported every day across continents and borders to fulfil needs of consumers from all corners of the world.
Trade creates social and economic opportunities, for consumers, citizens and economic players. But are these benefits inclusive enough?
Under this thematic umbrella, the following three subthemes will be discussed: trade and jobs — trade and consumers — trade and Africa.
A special half day session for the Doha Round
After the adoption of the Bali Package at the 9th Ministerial Conference, members’ attention is now turned to the rest of the Doha Round. Within the next months, the WTO will build a work programme towards the completion of the Doha Round and this session will gather thoughts and ideas from the Forum’s participants on this issue.
Call for proposals
Sessions at the Public Forum are organized by participants. The WTO will select the best proposals and allocate the slots. In order to qualify for selection, organisers will need to complete an application form and send it to PublicForum14@wto.org no later than 30 May 2014.
The Public Forum is an annual event which was first launched in 2001. It provides a platform for public debate and discussion across a wide range of WTO issues and activities.
The Public Forum has become one of the most important platforms for dialogue between the stakeholders of the WTO. Over the years, more than 9,000 representatives from civil society, academia, business, the media, governments, parliamentarians and inter-governmental organizations have attended the Public Forum.
For more information, please contact us by email at: PublicForum14@wto.org