This year's Forum will debate:
formulating new approaches to multilateral trade opening in
areas such as trade facilitation;
addressing 21st-century issues and identifying areas in
need of new regulations; and
looking at the role of non-state actors in strengthening
the multilateral trading system.
These themes and others will be analysed at 44 sessions over
the three days of the forum.
The results emerging from these discussions will provide
useful guidance on how the WTO can better address the complex
trade issues of the 21st century.
Micheline Calmy-Rey, former President of the Swiss
Confederation, will deliver the Forum's inaugural speech.
The sessions include the following debates:
Opening Session: "Is Multilateralism in Crisis?"
Speakers are WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy; Ms Micheline
Calmy-Rey; H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister for Foreign
Trade, United Arab Emirates; Mr Nicholas Staheyeff, Vice
Chairman and CFO, eBay International; and Hon. Mr Ricardo
Lagos, Senator, The Senate of Chile. The session will be
moderated by Mr Andrew Harvey, Former BBC Presenter.
Plurilaterals and Bilaterals: Guardians or Gravediggers of
the WTO? Speakers are Ms Arancha González, Chief of
Staff, Office of the Director-General, WTO; Mr Winand
Quadvlieg, Vice-Chairman, International Relations Committee,
BUSINESSEUROPE; Mr Christopher Wenk, Senior Director,
International Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; H.E. Ms
Anabel Gonzalez, Minister of Trade, Costa Rica; H.E. Mr Wayne
McCook, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to
the WTO; H.E. Mr Fernando de Mateo, Ambassador and Permanent
Representative of Mexico to the WTO; and Ms Naoko Munakata,
Director General, Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade
Policy Bureau, Japan. The session will be moderated by Ms
Jennifer Freedman of Bloomberg News.
The Multilateral Trading System in the 21st Century:
Interaction Between Trade and Competition Policy. Speakers
are Mr Eduardo Pérez-Motta, Chairman, Mexico Federal
Competition Commission; Mr Carlos Braga, Director of The
Evian Group; Mr Robert Anderson, Counsellor, Intellectual
Property Division, WTO; H.E. Tim Yeend, Ambassador and
Permanent Representative of Australia to the WTO; and H.E. Mr
Yoichi OTABE, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of
Japan to the WTO. The session will be moderated by Mr Pradeep
S. Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International.
Panel of Multi-Stakeholders. Public discussion with members
of the panel "Defining the Future of Trade", established by
Director-General Pascal Lamy in April 2012 to examine
challenges to global trade opening in the 21st century.
Speakers are Mr Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman and Founder,
Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Overseas Corporation, Jordan; Ms Sharan
Burrow, Secretary-General, International Trade Union
Confederation (ITUC), Brussels: Mr Frederico Fleury Curado,
President and CEO, Embraer S.A, Brazil: Mr Pradeep S. Mehta,
Secretary General, CUTS International; Mr Festus Gontebanye
Mogae, Former President of Botswana; Ms Josette Sheeran, Vice
Chairman, World Economic Forum, Geneva: Mr George Yeo, Former
Foreign Minister of Singapore; Vice Chairman, Kerry Group
Limited; and Mr Fujimori Yoshiaki, President and CEO, JS
Group Corporation, Tokyo. The session will be moderated by Mr
Global Value Chains: Implications for Trade Policy. Speakers
are Mr Bernard Hoekman, Director, Trade Department, World
Bank; Mr Ken Ash, Director, Trade and Agriculture
Directorate, OECD; H.E. Ms Anabel Gonzalez, Minister of
Trade, Costa Rica; Mr Peter Draper, Senior Research Fellow,
South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA);Mr
Karan Bhatia, Vice President and Senior Counsel,
International Law & Policy General Electric Company.
Commentator: Mr Patrick Low, Director, Economic Research and
Statistics Division, WTO. The session will be moderated by Ms
Arancha González, Chief of Staff, Office of the
Trade and Jobs. Speakers are Mr Yogendra K. Modi, Member of
the Board, International Organisation of Employers (IOE);
Chairman and CEO, Great Eastern Energy Corporation; Professor
Alberto Trejos, Professor of Economics, INCAE Business
School; former Trade Minister, Costa Rica; Mr John Evans,
General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to
the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD); Hon. Mr Ricardo Lagos, Senator, The Senate of Chile;
and Mr Stephen Pursey, Director, Policy Integration
Department and Senior Advisor to the Director-General, ILO.
The session will be moderated by Mr Rufus Yerxa, Deputy
Director General, WTO.
A new feature of this year's Forum is the Ideas Workshop
which will give participants the opportunity to share ideas
on key trade topics in a highly interactive environment. The
workshops bring together experts from diverse backgrounds to
tackle topical trade challenges. Unlike the panel sessions,
the workshops will deal with a particular problem and focus
on coming up with concrete solutions.
This year's Ideas Workshops will cover:
How to ensure green economy policies are implemented in a
co-ordinated manner rather than at cross-purposes?
The future of the WTO dispute settlement system.
Rethinking trade-related aspects of intellectual property
in today's global economy.
WTO's first ever Youth Ambassadors, selected by separate
video and essay contests, will discuss the topic "How can
trade promote development?" with other students on 25
Those who cannot attend the Public Forum can follow the
discussions by listening to podcasts of every session and by
participating through social media.
The Public Forum is also on Social Media. You are invited to
tune in and join the conversation with a view to widening the
discussion beyond those physically present in Geneva. The
"Social Media Corner" will collect views from participants
and the public on video each day from 1pm to 2pm and 4pm to
The WTO Public Forum is an annual event that provides a
platform for public debate and discussion across a wide range
of WTO issues and activities. Since 2001, more than 9,000
representatives from civil society, academia, business, the
media, governments, parliamentarians and inter-governmental
organizations have attended the Public Forum.