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It 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 system.

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.

Pascal Lamy




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