The Public Forum is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event in Geneva, which provides a platform for participants to discuss the latest developments in world trade and to propose ways of enhancing the multilateral trading system.
This year’s theme is about expanding trade through innovation and the digital economy.
UNCTAD representatives will address the following sessions:
1 October 2013
15.00-17.00 - Bringing technological innovation to trade: the perspective of supply chains and value chain management
This session aims to provide a more practical insight into industries and the regulatory field. The panelists will address the following key questions:
- How does technological innovation facilitate the development of trade?
- What are Chinese entrepreneurs’ attempts in terms of expanding trade under such circumstances?
- What will happen to trade rules and regulations in a digital economy?
Moderator: Dr. Wang Xinkui, Chairman and President of Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Center (SCCWTO)
- Torbjorn Fredriksson, Chief, ICT Analysis Section, UNCTAD
- Lee Tuthill, Counsellor, Trade in Services Division, WTO
- Xue Guangchun, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sunivo Supply Chain Management Corporation
- Zhang Ye, President, CBI Group
2 October 2013
13.00-15.00 - Promoting technological capacity-building and enhancing trade competitiveness in Asian economies
This session addresses the following key topics with an Asian perspective:
- Rationale for technology policy and the strategies adopted in Asia
- Role of FDI and the impact of technology imports in Asian manufacturing
- Enhancing industrial competitiveness through R&D
- Technology upgradation and trade diversion
- Technology parks
- Technology and industrial infrastructure
- Developing countries and access to new technologies
Moderator: Jayant Dasgupta, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the WTO
- Dato' Norhalim Yunus, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC)
- Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC)
- Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai, Director, World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) Board, and President of All India Association of Industries (AIAI)
- Vladimir Salamatov, Director-General, JCS World Trade Centre Moscow
13.00-15.00 - Promoting innovation and investments in LDCs: an impossible task?
In this session, the following key questions will be addressed:
- How do new trends such as the rise of global value chains and the digital revolution affect the dynamics of innovation in LDCs? Do they make it easier or more difficult to innovate?
- In light of these recent trends what kind of policy framework might be appropriate to foster technology enhancing trade and investments?
- How can current IP regimes in LDCs be improved to boost LDCs' capacity to innovate?
Moderator: Nicolas Imboden, Executive Director, IDEAS Centre
- Taffere Tesfachew, Director, Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes (UNCTAD)
- Augusto Makiesse, LDC Focal Point for TRIPS, Permanent Mission of Angola to the WTO
- Arno Hold, Programme Director, WTI/CUHK Summer Programme on Intellectual Property and Research Fellow, NCCR Trade Regulation, World Trade Institute (WTI), University of Berne
- Pedro Roffe, Senior Associate, Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
- Padmashree Gehl Sampath, Chief, Science and Technology Section (UNCTAD)
15.00-17.00 - Towards a digital economy for all: empowering consumers to drive technology-enabled trade
"A digital economy for all" is one where consumers confidently access global markets and engage with merchants across borders and cultures. Importantly, that involves participation by consumers and businesses from and in developing countries.
This workshop will discuss how technology and policy can create empowered market participants. Technology services, global networks and online marketplaces are indeed putting in place the foundation for empowerment by lowering search costs, facilitating information access, and helping to create trust. What policies, standards and legal frameworks will support the rise of confident global consumers and merchants?
Moderator: Phil Evans, Coordinator of the International Network of Consumer Antitrust Advisers
- Cécile Barayre-El Shami, E-Commerce and Law Reform Programme (UNCTAD)
- Richard Bates, Director, Consumer Empowerment, Consumer Futures, Consumers International
- Julien Brugerolle, Policy Officer, Directorate General for Health and Consumers, European Commission
- Andreas Lendle, International Economist, Sidley Austin LLP
- Pradeep Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International
- Hanne Melin, Policy and Strategy Counsel, eBay
3 October 2013
10.30-12.00 Trade facilitation: addressing consumer and SME interests and concerns in developing countries
The main objective of this session is to identify what the issues of interest are to consumers and SMEs in Trade Facilitation (TF) and how they are being considered in the current WTO TF negotiations. The session will identify how TF can contribute to consumer welfare and SME competitiveness. It will also seek to draw linkages between current TF standards and consumer and SME concerns and how current TF standards can be adapted or improved.
The session will be based on a proposed CUTS project seeking to promote a proconsumer and pro-competitiveness TF reform in developing countries.
Moderator: Rajesh Aggarwal, Chief, Business and Trade Policy, International Trade Center (ITC)
- David Vivas Eugui, Senior Advisor, CUTS International Geneva
- Edouard Bizumuremyi, Commercial Attaché, Permanent Mission of Rwanda
- Jan Hoffmann, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section (UNCTAD)
- Stephen Fevrier, Trade Adviser for Small States, Commonwealth Secretariat
13.00-15.00 - Unleashing the potential for FDI and trade in developing countries: the case for a multilateral agreement on investment
This session aims to discuss the latest trends in investment policies and trade and their impact on development and business. How is the existing governance framework for investment impacting the trade performances and policies of developing countries? How could investment be unleashed to enable trade, development and innovation?
Moderator: Anabel González, Foreign Trade Minister of Costa Rica and Chair, Global Agenda Council on Trade and FDI
- James Lockett, Global Head of Trade Facilitation and Market Access, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd
- James Zhan, Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise (UNCTAD)
- Fernando De Mateo y Venturini, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Mexico to the WTO
- Sharon Leclercq-Spooner, Partner, EPPA, Vice Chair, Trade and External Affairs Committee, American Chamber to the EU (AmCham EU)
15.00-17.00 - Making trade and innovation work for productive development: the case for regulating capital flows in a high tech world
Trade, innovation and the Digital Economy have had a very significant impact on crossborder financial flows by facilitating these enormously and creating new types of cross border flows. Whilst potentially generating benefits, they can also create very serious risks, for instance by making cross-border finance more volatile.
The session will explore the links between innovation and the rules of the trading system and the regulations of a country's capital account. Relevant questions include: to what extent do specific investment-related rules of the trading system constrain the policy space that nations need to deploy proper regulation to mitigate the harmful effects of cross-border financial flows? What global economic governance structures might be needed to facilitate the proper regulation of cross-border finance, so as to ensure trade and innovation work for productive development?
- Kevin Gallagher, Professor and Co-Director of the Global Economic Governance Initiative, Department of International Relations, Boston University
- Richard Kozul-Wright, Officer-in-Charge, Unit on Economic Cooperation and Integration among Developing Countries (UNCTAD)
- Annamaria Viterbo, Assistant Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Turin
- Sarah Anderson, Director, Global Economy Project, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, DC
- Xavier Carim, Deputy Director-General for International Trade and Economic Development, Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa
- Erivaldo Alfredo Gomes, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil