02.10.2018

WTO Public Forum 2018 is taking place in Switzerland to consider what sustainable trade will look like in 2030 and beyond.

"We have to set a path towards better global trade by 2030 – trade that is even more sustainable and inclusive, and which is responsive to emerging challenges", - said Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the WTO. 

In his welcome remarks to the Opening Plenary of the 2018 Public Forum on 2 October, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo underlined the importance of modernizing and adapting the rules of global trade in order to manage the major social and economic challenges ahead from technological change.

This year WTO Public Forum considers what sustainable trade will look like in 2030 and beyond. Under the umbrella of the main theme of "Trade 2030", the Public Forum's sub-themes will be sustainable trade, technology-enabled trade, and a more inclusive trading system.

In a rapidly changing world, how can countries ensure that trade continues to contribute to jobs, growth and sustainable development, particularly in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals under the 2030 Agenda? How can trade and efforts to address environmental problems complement one another in order to contribute towards a sustainable future? Change brought about by technology and the pace at which this change is occurring has been both beneficial and challenging. 

The Public Forum provides a unique platform for heads of states, parliamentarians, leading global business people, students, academics and non-governmental organizations to come together and debate on a wide range of WTO issues and on some of the major trade and development topics of the day. The Public Forum offers an opportunity for policy makers and representatives of government, business, workers, consumers, civil society and others to discuss how these emerging developments will affect trade and the multilateral trading system, and how we can ensure that trade in 2030 will continue to help us address the major issues facing our economies and societies.

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By Katsiaryna Serada

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